They already do, kind of. This plea for clemency by Mrs. George Papadopoulos is the second time in three days that the wife of a criminal with some “in” with Trump has pleaded for mercy on their platform. But in case any Fox exec is thinking about turning it into a truly regular feature, be advised that I will definitely watch. Every night.
George Papadopoulos' wife Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos: "I trust and hope and ask to President Trump to pardon him." pic.twitter.com/ASYP0RE7Vj
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 5, 2018
Of all the Russiagate players who might conceivably be pardoned by Trump, Papadopoulos is among the least likely. What reason would Trump have to do him a favor? He’s the idiot whose meeting overseas with Joseph Mifsud kickstarted the investigation. He cooperated with Mueller. And if Trump’s thinking that a pardon now might convince Papadopoulos to end that cooperation, he needn’t bother. A few weeks ago Mueller said that he was prepared to proceed to sentencing in Papadopoulos’s case, suggesting that the special counsel no longer has any use for him. The only reason for Trump to pardon him now would be as a middle finger to the DOJ … or to hint to other Russiagate players that they’ll eventually be pardoned too and therefore have no reason to cooperate.
Can’t be worse than 50/50 odds on that, so Mrs. Papadopoulos figured she’d go on Fox and make her case to the Audience of One. Why Tucker instead of Hannity, though? Surely Hannity would be willing to carve out some airtime for a pardon plea. Or is he angry at Papadopoulos for having started this whole mess?
I do like the idea of a regular pardon segment in the evening, though. Every night someone would get 15 minutes to plead their case, in the expectation that the president himself was watching. (And he would watch.) At the end of the week, maybe on “Fox & Friends,” Trump himself could announce which of that week’s petitioners would get clemency, based in part on who kissed his ass the best. It wouldn’t just be celebrity convicts, either; inevitably some common people with husbands or sons in prison would get airtime to bring public attention to their cause. Trump would eat it up, getting to use his most kingly power regularly on a big stage and being lavished with praise for his compassion, especially when he pardoned someone who was truly worthy.
Good lord, I think I’m talking myself into this.
Imagine the drama, the pathos, when Michael Cohen inevitably showed up on “Hannity” to ask Trump to give him a break, for old times’ sake. Or how about Jeff Sessions? At the rate we’re going with POTUS’s animosity towards him, he’s going to end up being prosecuted for something or other before Trump leaves office. All we need is a name for the segment. I’ve seen some good ones on Twitter: “Pardon Me,” “Beg Your Pardon,” or in an homage to Trump’s own show, “The Accomplice.”