In an investigation published over the weekend, the Times wrote that the commutation for Jonathan Braun, a drug smuggler, had “broader implications than previously known.”
Braun was two and a half years into a 10 year sentence for running a major marijuana ring, and was also being pursued by the Justice Department for predatory lending to small businesses.
According to the Times, Braun’s family used a connection to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, to secure the commutation.
Freeing Braun reportedly jeopardized a Justice Department criminal investigation into predatory lenders, in which prosecutors had been negotiating with Braun to flip on industry insiders in exchange for clemency.
That deal went out the window when Braun was freed, the Times reported.
“What does this all tell us?” Psaki, a former White House press secretary under President Joe Biden, asked on “Inside With Jen Psaki.”
“For one, it tells us that ‘tough on crime’ Donald Trump upended a federal investigation by his own Justice Department. That’s not how it’s supposed to work.”
She continued: “It also tells us how Trump and his administration ran pretty fast and loose with presidential pardons — a tremendous power that usually runs through a highly vetted process out of the Department of Justice.”
She referred to an “old quote” and maxim of dictators: “For my friends, everything; for my enemies, the law.”
Psaki warned: “That is how Donald Trump has operated. And that is how he will continue to operate if he ever gets the leverage of government again.”
Watch the clip below from MSNBC: