Trump will pardon conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza, who was convicted for campaign finance violation

Donald Trump’s pardon of Dinesh D’Souza is another example of how he is laying the groundwork to pardon his way out of the Russia investigation.

D’Souza is the third high-profile conservative figure Trump has pardoned for crimes that eerily presage the charges Mueller has brought or may bring in the future.

First was Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who repeatedly defied court orders in the operation of his jail in Arizona—and who was a loyal and loud supporter of Trump’s during the 2016 campaign.

Next was Scooter Libby, convicted in 2007 of obstructing justice and lying to investigators during the investigation into the Valerie Plame leak—or, as Kellyanne Conway described him, “a victim of a Special Counsel gone amok.”

Now, it’s D’Souza, the pro-Trump conservative commentator and conspiracy theorist who pleaded guilty in 2014 to campaign-finance violations.

It’s no secret that Trump sees pardons as a potential tool; in March, the New York Times reported that his lawyers had already dangled the prospect of pardons for Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort.

Add in his statement from July that he has “complete power to pardon” and the message is clear: Trump is ready to hand out pardons for obstructing justice, defying the courts, and violating election law to those who remain loyal to him. – @moscow_project