No, President Trump did not pardon Steve Stockman. He should.
President Trump is being criticized in the lopsided Democrat media and even by establishment keyboard Republicans for using his authority under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution to "grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States."
The authority to pardon was exercised at common law in England before our written Constitution became America's paramount law over government. State constitutions also provide executives authority in one way or another to issue such orders of clemency. President Trump's legitimate use of that authority merely draws flak from the usual Trump Derangement Syndrome.
The December 22 batch of clemency orders that have drawn the ire of anti-Trumpers included not a pardon, but a commutation of the ten-year prison sentence for conservative former congressman Steve Stockman.
To reiterate a few points, Stockman was an outspoken critic of Hillary Clinton, President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and IRS official Lois Lerner. He was targeted for criminal investigations, but at least three grand juries did not indict him before a fourth finally did after the Justice Department had its "batting practice."
The cultish fake news reported that Stockman had defrauded charitable donors, and that cascaded into charges of wire fraud and money-laundering.
The bogus and fabricated case against Stockman combined elements of soliciting donations from just two wealthy GOP donors for nonprofit causes that were political in nature. The perfect legality of Stockman's activities are described in an amicus brief I filed in his appeal.
Stockman requested donations to provide seed money for nonprofit projects that were inherently political in nature. The prosecution against him confused both the trial judge and jury, leading them to believe that nonprofit organizations may not engage in "political" activity at all.
Just in the past political cycle, leftist nonprofits outraised right-leaning nonprofits by five times to influence the election. At Stockman's trial, however, the confused judge held up one key exhibit mailed by a nonprofit organization on Steve's side critical of his establishment GOP primary opponent and said quite pointedly, "This is political." The confused jury took its cue from her, as if it were witchcraft in Salem.
Stockman's case, quite literally, was the criminalization of politics. The charges of wire fraud and money-laundering could not have been brought against him without the corrupt case that my amicus brief, linked above, shows was bogus.
Even though Stockman's sentence has now been commuted, he remains on parole, so we can expect that more bogus charges will be brought against him if he is to re-engage as an effective conservative critic of government corruption. Also, his travel is severely restricted, and he is now being deprived of his right to vote and his Second Amendment rights.
While there is no need to re-litigate a case for purposes of issuing pardons — even in the face of the cultish media criticisms of his commutation — this is a perfect example of why the presidential pardon power can and should be used to remedy injustices caused by abuse of prosecutorial power.
Mr. President, pardon Steve Stockman.