(RightWing.org) – Former President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence once had a great relationship. That began to deteriorate after the duo left office at the beginning of 2021. Now the two are political rivals, each hoping to win the 2024 Republican nomination — and the gloves are coming off. In a recent interview, Pence’s ex-chief of staff attacked decisions Trump made at the end of the administration.
On June 18, Marc Short appeared on “Fox News Sunday.” He criticized the pardons and commutations the former president handed down at the end of his administration. Pence’s former chief of staff told host Shannon Bream that the pardons were among “the most unseemly parts” of the final days.
Short claimed the 45th president issued pardons to “cocaine traffickers, to family members, [and] to people guilty of violent crimes.” He went on to say that there should be a “real conversation” about what leaders should do with their pardon power. Ultimately, he believes Trump’s record on the issue is “indefensible.”
Short was referencing Charles Kushner when he mentioned that family members received pardons. The convicted felon is the father of Trump’s son-in-law and former administration official Jared Kushner. The elder Kushner pleaded guilty to 16 counts of making false statements and committing fraud in 2004, during former President George W. Bush’s administration.
Trump also pardoned rappers Kodak Black and Lil Wayne on firearms charges. His former allies, Steve Bannon, Paul Manafort, and Roger Stone, received pardons while he was in office. Bannon’s pardon was particularly controversial because he was accused of defrauding the former president’s supporters with a fundraising campaign to erect a wall on the US-Mexico border.
Short’s remarks came just days after Pence appeared on the “Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show” and refused to say whether he would pardon Trump if elected. The former VP told the hosts that none of the candidates currently running for president should make conclusions prejudging the facts of any investigations, saying it would be “premature.”
Bream pointed out to Short that every president issues controversial pardons at the end of their administration. In 2017, President Barack Obama commuted the 35-year sentence of WikiLeaks leaker Chelsea Manning, who put troops at risk duing the war.
In one of the most famous moves, former President Gerald Ford issued a blanket pardon for former President Richard Nixon after he resigned from office. Finally, former President Bill Clinton issued a pardon for his half-brother Roger Clinton, who was convicted of cocaine trafficking in 1985.
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