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President Donald Trump has summarily dismissed allegations that the Department of Justice is investigating a bribery-for-pardon scheme that conspiracy theorists, including Adam Schiff, have suggested directly involves him and his White House officials.
This week the D.C. District Court unsealed documents from an August case in which federal prosecutors had sought access to certain seized items — iPhones, iPads, etc. — that they believed contained evidence of a “secret lobbying scheme.”
The scheme involved at least two individuals whom prosecutors said “were acting as unregistered lobbyists trying to persuade White House officials to grant an individual a pardon or commutation,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
More notably, the scheme allegedly involved “a substantial political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon or reprieve of sentence,” the documents themselves say.
In laymen’s terms, two people allegedly tried to bribe the White House to pardon someone.
As these findings went viral this week, so did unsubstantiated, arguably conspiratorial suggestions that the Trump White House and even the president himself were involved.
And leading the conspiracy train again was notorious Russian collusion delusion conspiracy theorist Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee.
Chairman Schiff: “An attorney with a client was representing that client not in a legal way, but attempting to, through the use of bribery, secure a pardon … That itself would be a crime. If the president was involved, he would not be immune from prosecution for it.” @MSNBC
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 1, 2020
Wow. Now we learn @TheJusticeDept is investigating bribery for pardon.
The past four years have shown the @realDonaldTrump Administration engaged in multiple corrupt acts and acted as a magnet for corrupt behavior. https://t.co/z6QJJDJXaR
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 1, 2020
Love pic of #AriMelber holding up totally redacted account of #DOJ investigation into “bribery for pardon scam.” As one #MSNBC commentator said, “There is only person who could be bribed for pardon.” #Trump. We know where this is going. His ass is in a sling. https://t.co/9166J6eYKs
— Greg Logan (@GregLogan1) December 2, 2020
Welp, we can add bribery conspiracy to the (growing) list.
The Trump regime is easily — and by far — the most corrupt in modern American history. This is indisputable. https://t.co/l2yl7JqQCp
— Jeffrey Smith (@Smith_JeffreyT) December 2, 2020
The crazy part is when you learn that Donald Trump engaged in a bribery for pardon scheme with his criminal pal, and you have to ask which one.
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) December 2, 2020
Now the DOJ is investigating the White House for a presidential pardon bribery scheme.
You can’t possibly be surprised.
Trump said he wanted to drain the swamp, but he really just wanted to turn the White House into a crime syndicate.
— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) December 2, 2020
But all this is mindless nonsense, and the president seems to know that.
“A Justice Department official said that no government official was or is currently a subject or target of the investigation disclosed in the filing,” The Wall Street Journal confirmed Tuesday.
In other words, the scheme doesn’t involve either the president or his officials. Instead it only involves outside parties who’d sought — but clearly failed — to try to bribe them.
That Schiff and those like him have resorted to once again issuing false allegations of bribery against the president isn’t shocking.
Responding presumably to these allegations, the president tweeted late Wednesday, “Pardon investigation is Fake News!”
Pardon investigation is Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2020
The tweet provoked mockery from leftists who assumed he was speaking about the investigation itself.
Their premise was this: “How can it be fake news if your own Department of Justice is conducting the investigation?”
Not according to your own DOJ and official documents! Your lies are not working anymore, whiny, snowflake loser & criminal!
— A. D. Holyland (@peacevision) December 2, 2020
It seems unlikely that the president was referencing the investigation itself. It’s hard to tell either way because he has a tendency of rushing through topics.
After one of the president’s rallies back in October, conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh warned that the president sometimes rushes through topics because he assumes the audience is already aware of all the background information.
“So I think the president assumes his audience knows all [the] details. … Some of them may not. So when he tells the story with only 10 percent of the details, there are a lot of people left scratching their heads,” Limbaugh said.
Scratching their heads or outright mocking him, in fact. Such may be the case with the tweet he posted Tuesday. He may have been specifically referencing the false narrative that the DOJ is investigating him and his officials.
And yes, this narrative does exist:
Your own DOJ is coming for you
— Russell Hill (@kidnomo1) December 2, 2020
So what are you saying, that your own justice department is not investigating you?
— Peter Grossman (@pginlb) December 2, 2020
If the president was indeed trying to say “that [his] own Justice Department is not investigating [him],” then he was 100 percent accurate.
Of course, lead conspiracy theorist Adam Schiff doesn’t appear to be convinced.
“Someone in this [scheme] has to have a close enough relationship to the president or people around the president to make it happen. You’re not gonna pay a bribe to someone who has no relationship to the party that has the power to give the pardon,” he reportedly claimed on MSNBC late Tuesday.
Once a conspiracy theorist, always a conspiracy theorist …
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