As it looks like President Donald Trump will soon be out of office, it seems he’s looking at a few parting shots. After all, until Joe Biden is sworn in, Trump is still the president. One of the powers of the president is to pardon people, and there’s been a lot of talk of Trump pardoning all kinds of folks.
So, a congressman from Georgia has a suggestion for the president.
“I call your attention to the application of one of my constituents, Mr. John Thomas Shipley, that is before the Office of the Pardon Attorney at the Department of Justice,” Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk writes in a Dec. 1 letter to President Donald Trump. “After careful review of his circumstances and consultation with my former colleagues in the House of Representatives and other professionals, Mr. Shipley’s incarceration appears to be the result of prosecutorial retribution, judicial overreach and political targeting…”
Shipley had gotten the wrong people mad at him. Because he came to believe a woman he had arrested was innocent, he refused to sign an affidavit to prosecute her. She was awarded a large settlement and wanted to show her gratitude, but he declined. Nonetheless, he was charged with perjury and bribery, neither charge having evidence to stick.
In what appears to be a determination to get him for something, Shipley, a collector, was later charged and convicted of gun trafficking. A firearm that he had sold to a local deputy sheriff who sold it to a gun store that “the ATF sanctioned to sell weapons to cartels and traffickers.” It was subsequently recovered in Mexico.
My personal tie-ins with Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking” notwithstanding, this new development in Shipley’s story is of special interest to me because I extensively covered his story back when he was fighting for his life.
“Is FBI agent Mexican ‘crime gun’ source?” I asked in a July 14, 2009, Gun Rights Examiner headline upon reading a report in The New York Times that “An F.B.I. agent in El Paso has been arrested and charged with dealing guns, some of which ended up being used in gunfights between the authorities and drug dealers in Mexico…”
My initial assumption, that a crooked cop got caught, was challenged within hours by a trusted source, who told me all was not as it appeared. It soon became evident from that source that there was much more to the story than what the government was claiming and the media was reporting.
Now, I invite you to go and read the rest of the story because yeah, things look rather suspect. It doesn’t mean Shipley really is innocent because things tend to be more complicated than they seem and we’re only getting one side here, but I will say things don’t look good for the FBI.
Should Trump pardon Shipley? Well, if he got railroaded as alleged, a pardon would certainly be warranted. I’d personally prefer to have a retrial so I could clear my name in a court of law, but I wouldn’t sneeze at a pardon if I were in Shipley’s shoes.
That leaves the question of whether Trump will or not?
Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he would. Let’s face it, among other things, Trump has served as Troll-in-Chief for the last four years. He’s done plenty of things just to piss off his opponents. It would be in keeping with that character for him to pardon Shipley. After all, if the FBI railroaded him because he wouldn’t let them railroad someone else, then him being locked up is important to the FBI.
This is the same FBI that has been seemingly working against the president for his entire tenure in office.
Pardoning Shipley would be a big middle finger in the FBI’s face. For that reason alone, I can see Trump actually doing this.
I’m remarkably OK with that.