Jonathan Turley ‘deeply’ concerned over Biden DOJ plan to ‘circumvent’ prior Trump clemency order

Legal expert Jonathan Turley sounded the alarm in a recent report indicating the Justice Department planned to brazenly ignore a presidential pardon from President Donald Trump and retry the same individual.

“I was highly critical of some of the Trump pardons,” Turley wrote on social media Saturday afternoon. “But this move by the Justice Department to circumvent a prior commutation is deeply concerning,”

“This is a previously tried individual who received executive clemency…” he added, referring to an article announcing that the Department of Justice plans “to retry Philip Esformes despite Trump commuting sentence of Florida nursing home owner.”

Esformes was a nursing home owner handed down a 20-year prison sentence for charges related to criminal health care fraud.

The article cited New York criminal defense attorney Joe Tacopina’s critique of the situation he believes demonstrates the prosecutor’s “obvious vendetta” against the former White House occupant.

“The situation is entirely unique because the actions of the prosecutors here are incredibly outrageous,” he said. “There’s no question in my mind that the [Justice Department’s] flagrant disregard of President Trump’s clemency order is motivated by acrimony towards him.

“And if there’s any question about that, what the prosecution is doing here against Mr. Esformes is unprecedented,” Tacopina continued. “He’s clearly a political casualty of partisan games.”

Turley addressed the powerful nature of a presidential pardon, at least as it has been interpreted by previous administrations.

“…The clemency obviously only addressed the conviction but the clear intent was to grant relief from the prosecution as a whole,” the legal professor wrote.

What the current administration does seem to be taking into account is that what goes around, comes around.

Republicans in the House of Representatives are already planning a full investigation into the FBI over the similar outrageous action by agents to raid Trump’s private home allegedly in search of classified documents in the likely event that they take back the House majority in the upcoming midterm elections.

“House Republicans are committed to immediate oversight, accountability, and a fulsome investigation to provide needed transparency and answers to the American people regarding Joe Biden and his administration’s weaponization of the Department of Justice and FBI against Joe Biden’s political opponent,” House Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said on Friday morning in a press conference.

But what really makes the hairs on the back of the neck stand on end after watching an unprecedented search and seizure of a former sitting president’s house and ignoring a presidential pardon, is the fact that nothing seems to be out of reach of the current White House administration.

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Ashley Hill


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