‘Rule of law conduct’: furious reaction to Trump’s pardons policy

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Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner criticized Donald Trump for his last pardons, including those convicted of killing unarmed citizens during the Iraq war.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump announced another wave of pardons as his tenure comes to an end, including four Blackwater contractors, one of whom was given a life sentence and the other to 30 years each after opening fire on unarmed Iraqi citizens in Baghdad in 2007. Blackwater was renamed Academi in 2011 after it was acquired by private investors.
The four men, in what is now known as the Nisour Square Massacre, used machine guns and grenades to attack the mob in which 17 people died, including a mother who was trying to escape with her baby.
Mr Kirschner, while speaking to MSNBC, criticized Mr Trump’s decision, saying, “It looks like there is no line that Donald Trump will not cross.”
“I will say, to this old prosecutor, it looks like what he just did was like a blind drive-by on the rule of law. I mean, he forgives people who lie to the FBI. As part of the investigation into Russia. He forgives Republicans who stole their donors, committed campaign finance violations or engaged in insider training, ”Kirschner said in his opening remarks.
He added: “What bothers me the most and touches me personally are the pardons of Blackwater… of those four Blackwater contractors who slaughtered innocent and unarmed Iraqi men, women and children.
“This has been pursued – this case, three times, by my old office, the District of Columbia’s United States Attorney’s Office. The senior prosecutor, a gentleman by the name of Pat Martin, is someone I’ve tried murder cases with. He put all his heart and soul into the fight for justice for these Iraqi victims, ”he said.
“Ali, my office would bring the Iraqi victims and their surviving family members among the 17 who were murdered over and over and over again for these three trials and I can tell you that these Iraqi citizens were equally encouraged by the fact that the American criminal justice system cared about their victimization and, shocked at the time, energy and effort, we went to great lengths to hold these Blackwater killers accountable for what they had done, ”a Mr Kirschner said.
He said it was his greatest pride in power as an American lawyer and said it was important to “hold the men accountable for the way they ravaged, murdered, victimized these Iraqi citizens”.
“Now Donald Trump has killed this justice that we got in a very real sense,” he said. “This is perhaps the biggest affront to victims’ rights that I have seen in my 30 years as a prosecutor,” Kirschner said.
Mr. Kirschner also expressed his anger on Twitter: “Trump pardoned the 4 Blackwater defendants who massacred 14 innocent and unarmed Iraqis (17 others injured). I have viewed these trials as one of the proudest accomplishments of the DC US Attorney’s Office, fighting for justice for these Iraqi victims. Today Trump killed justice.
This is not the first time Mr. Trump has pardoned war criminals. In November last year, he pardoned two servicemen convicted of murders of Afghan nationals.

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