Paul has already discussed the parade of rich scumbags who got pardoned by Trump today, but I think Bernie Kerik merits special discussion as an epitome of Trump’s party. For you young people out there, he started out as just an unqalified Guiliani crony promoted far beyond his competence, with George W. Bush (natch) escalating the Peter Principle even further. Alas, he was a mobbed-up crook:
Mr. Kerik was a police detective when Rudolph W. Giuliani chose him as his bodyguard and chauffeur during his first mayoral campaign. The two men forged a connection that lasted throughout Mr. Giuliani’s mayoralty and beyond.
Mr. Giuliani appointed Mr. Kerik to a senior position in the Correction Department, where he went on to be commissioner, and even have a prison named after him in downtown Manhattan. (The name has since been removed.) In 2000, Mr. Giuliani selected him as the city’s 40th police commissioner even though he lacked a college degree, normally a qualification for the job. Kerik led the Police Department through the 9/11 attack, meeting President George W. Bush at the ruins of the World Trade Center. Mr. Kerik impressed the president enough that the White House tapped Mr. Kerik to lead Homeland Security in 2004. The bid quickly collapsed and Mr. Kerik withdrew his name from consideration, citing unpaid taxes for his family’s nanny. More serious allegations then began to surface, marking the beginning of Mr. Kerik’s downfall.
The case against Mr. Kerik centered on charges that a New Jersey construction firm, the Interstate Industrial Corporation, suspected of organized crime ties, paid for much of the renovation work at Mr. Kerik’s home in Riverdale, in the Bronx, in the hope that he would help the company obtain a city license.
There was much more!
12/12/04: The Daily News reports that Kerik failed to disclose thousands of dollars in gifts, including a jewel-covered Tiffany badge, when he headed the NYPD and Correction Department. Some were given to him by a friend with ties to Interstate Industrial Corporation, a construction company suspected of mob ties that happens to have hired Kerik’s best man and brother; Kerik spoke to the city’s Trade Waste Commission on the friend’s behalf while Correction commissioner.
12/13/04: The Daily News reveals that Kerik had an extramarital affair with The Lost Son publisher Judith Regan, using a Battery Park City apartment—originally provided to ground-zero cleanup workers—for “passionate liaisons.”
Never has the cynically performative nature of purported Republican respect for The Troops and the First Responders been more clearly revealed as by the Republican lionization of Kerik, a corrupt incompetent who literally used a room reserved for 9/11 efforts as his own personal Joe Namath bachelor pad. Trump pardoning him is the perfect ending.
…also worth noting this is yet another presidential power that has been pretty much delegated to Fox News:
"President Donald Trump on Tuesday granted clemency to 11 people, including several convicted felons who are either Fox News regulars or have been championed by the president’s favorite cable-news network." https://t.co/HG4z9wo1Dc— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) February 18, 2020