What outrages me, and what I think should outrage others, is the process that brought about the pardon. In as guileless an admission as I have ever seen of rich man’s justice, the White House bolstered its decision by listing a murderer’s row of Republican donors and billionaires who provided “widespread and long-standing” support for Milken’s pardon. Sheldon Adelson, Tom Barrack, my old boss Giuliani and others are listed as supporters of the pardon. If I had to prove that the scales of justice tilt toward the rich, I would offer that list and then sit down and wait for the jury to convict.
I have no reason to doubt that Milken has spent the past 30 years doing good works and making the world a better place. He should be given enormous credit for that. I have no dog in this fight, and I don’t think that anyone should lose sleep over his pardon. The Milken prosecution is ancient history, and as Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) recently said, “We’re all footnotes at best in the annals of history.” But when Milken’s footnote is written, I wonder whether he will be happy to be remembered as the guy who was pardoned by Trump along with a corrupt politician (Rod Blagojevich), a tax cheat (Bernard Kerik) and a bribe-payer (Edward DeBartolo Jr.). I suspect that he was hoping for something better.