On the morning of May 2, 1972, Annie Fields discovered the corpse of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. It wouldn’t be until August 2005 that the FBI finally released redacted copies of Hoover’s “Official and Confidential Files,” previously maintained in the director’s office under his exclusive control. These are just the files that survived the mad dash following Hoover’s death to secure the most explosive information now believed to have been destroyed. It was through these files that Hoover wielded power over his supposed constitutional masters in Congress and the White House.
Today, within the concrete fortress that still bears Hoover’s name, are yet more files of dirt on powerful people. The FBI served search warrants to seize Jeffrey Epstein’s files, which are believed to include a trove of compromising information of powerful people yet unnamed. It has a laptop that once belonged to Anthony Weiner with thousands of emails believed to contain compromising information about Hillary Clinton. And yes, the bureau has voluminous materials on Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son. None of these files will ever see the inside of a courtroom. They’re not being kept for criminal prosecutions.
Hoover welcomed new presidents with a promise to “protect” them from public release of embarrassing information, such asJohn F. Kennedy’s affair with Judith Campbell Exner. Director James Comey followed a nearly identical technique with incoming President Trump. Joe Biden has already promised to keep Director Christopher Wray, despite multiple documented violations of flouting courts, Congress, and the president. Wray will not serve Biden.
The FBI considers itself “above politics,” meaning it doesn’t take orders from elected officials. Instead, the FBI says it takes orders from the Constitution itself. But that’s clearly, to put it in Biden parlance, “malarky.” The FBI has become an unconstitutional power center off limits to public accountability.
Has Wray had a Hoover-style job security conversation with Biden? Is one even necessary?
Which is why Donald Trump should pardon Hunter Biden. He should pardon the whole family and everyone who could be used as a pressure point against Biden after January. If we must live with the marionette president, let’s cut a few of the strings that were intended for his control. Whether or not you believe Biden was legitimately elected last month, he still got more votes than Christopher Wray.
Pardoning the Biden family comes at no cost. A Biden family prosecution for influence peddling isn’t any more likely than one targeting the Clinton pay-for-play shenanigans. And that’s exactly what the pardon says in the booming voice of action. If, instead, Trump manages to win his bid for a second term, pardoning Biden would not restrain his freedom of action in any way.
Biden, to his credit, has already begun dampening calls to prosecute Trump supporters for being Trump supporters. A Trump pardon of Biden would make a Biden prosecution of Trump much more difficult because it would severely complicate the narrative constructed about Trump.
Should the FBI and Justice Department suddenly take an interest in prosecuting pay-for-play cases, it can easily target the other side of the transaction—the many oligarchs and shady figures who paid the Bidens. A pardon would prevent Hunter from invoking his Fifth Amendment rights because he would be immune from the prosecution of any pardoned conduct.
Kurt Schlichter first floated the idea of using the pardon to disrupt the corruption in the federal legal system.
“Let’s stop pretending that America . . . has a ‘justice system,’” Schichter wrote in 2018. “It’s not a justice system. It’s a set of elite institutions that swing the law like a sledgehammer to crush threats to the ruling class’s monopoly on power. You know, threats like the people we elect to represent our interests against the elite. And we are under no moral obligation to pretend it is anything else.”
Schlichter also pointed out the best reason of all to pardon Trump’s enemies: the opportunity to “[l]ist their sins, in detail, and pardon them for their myriad crimes. Hang it all around their horned heads, and make them howl in outrage with an act of unwanted, utterly vindictive grace. They were never going to face justice for what they did anyway, so why not?”
The pardon, traditionally, must be accepted by the recipient. But under the “amnesty” theory of the pardon, one can be granted without acceptance. President Jimmy Carter famously “pardoned”—i.e. gave amnesty to—Vietnam War draft dodgers without any admission of guilt by the beneficiaries. While it’s tempting to hope for a Biden acceptance of a pardon, he obviously won’t accept it if it means letting Trump shame him.
It works best if Trump doesn’t give Biden a choice. Force it on him like a bulky Christmas present. Merry Christmas, Joe Biden.