This analysis was excerpted from the February 19 edition of CNN’s Meanwhile in America, the daily email about US politics for global readers. Sign up here to receive it every weekday morning (CNN)Tell Trump he’s got power and he’ll use it. Washington sages thought that the crushing pressures, ingrained customs and the implied morality of his office would force Donald Trump to conform to traditional notions of presidential behavior. But the US President’s latest flurry of decrees shows that was a bad bet. American presidents can pretty much pardon anyone, but traditionally reserve controversial uses of this power for the day they leave the Oval Office. And most have been loath to offer clemency in a way that suggests they’re meddling in an impartial justice system — a crucial cog of democratic society. Not Trump. The President waved his wand Tuesday to commute the sentence of ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, and to pardon junk bond king Michael Milken and Rudy Giuliani crony Bernie Kerik. All had been convicted of corruption — a crime that the President seems to think lies in the eye of the beholder. In isolation, such moves would suggest that a disregard for the law and tolerance… Read full this story
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