For those of you who live normal lives and aren’t attuned to the ravings of every lunatic with a platform on the internet, here’s a quick primer on the human trash pile that is Trump’s newest pardonee: Dinesh D’Souza.
He's also not a fan of Rosa Parks.
D'Souza is such a hack that CPAC, a conservative conference which helped give rise to Trump, uninvited him this year (D'Souza still is on the National Review's masthead though). So if you're wondering why our white supremaPOTUS thought to pardon him, what got him banished from this year's CPAC is basically why. It honestly doesn't have anything to do with his crime since his crime has nothing to do with Trump. In 2014, D'Souza pleaded guilty in federal court to a felony charge of an illegal contribution to Wendy Long's Senate campaign. This is how Trump framed his guilty plea.
Trump then went on to hint that he may pardon Martha Stewart, and also may commute the sentence of disgraced former Governor of Illinois, Rob Blagojevich—who was impeached, removed, then sentenced to 14 years in prison for rank corruption, like auctioning off Barack Obama's empty Senate seat. Stewart would be Trump's sixth pardon.
If you're confused about all this, don't worry. We all are. That's simply the status quo in the age of Trump. Luckily, defense lawyer Ken White—known on Twitter on Popehat—explained what all these pardons really seem to mean. Given how often he appears in court opposite the government, the tingling in his spidey senses is instructive here.
It's a fine theory, and given that Trump is perpetually consumed by the Russia inquiry, it's certainly plausible that this is all a setup for the far more harrowing pardons down the road. However, as one of White's Twitter followers pointed out, our TV president may not have any real plan past his own personal grievances and the last Fox News segment rattling around in the back of his addled brain.
Like the rest of the Trump presidency, it’s nearly impossible to delineate where rank incompetence ends and genuine intent begins. For Trump, they are one and the same.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.