From the New York Post:

“My first thought is: Trump likes to do stuff where he can do it without asking anyone permission, and the pardon is the quintessential presidential power that is unreviewable. It makes him feel like a king, which is what he wants,” said Paul Rosenzweig, who served as senior counsel under special prosecutor Ken Starr during the Whitewater investigation and now works at the center-right D.C. think tank R Street.

“On the other hand, he’s not an idiot, and he knows the effect of what he’s doing on other people. He also probably thinks it’s a not-terribly-subtle, but reasonable, effective message to guys like Cohen and Manafort and all the others that he’s got their back — provided they stay loyal to him.”


Rosenzweig said if he was Manafort or Cohen, he’d be thinking “where’s mine?” now that Trump has pardoned D’Souza.

It’s unclear whether Trump’s gambit will pay off — even if he were to issue a pardon to anyone involved in the Russia probe, he can only clear federal crimes, and state or local prosecutors could still go after his allies.

“Fraud is fraud, and so a pardon for Cohen or Manafort or [Trump’s unindicted son-in-law] Jared Kushner — if it ever came to that — would be a significant event,” Rosenzweig said. “But I don’t think it would be the silver bullet that President Trump may be hoping that it is.

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