The Corner

That Was Then, This is Now

I think I am missing something about the Illinois indictments. Despite the crudity of it all, the charges seem to boil down to a classic sort of bribery couched in quid pro quo: give me A, and you get B. But as illegal and as unethical as that is, what exactly is the difference between the Illinois example, and doing something like: since you gave my party, my legal defense fund, my furniture account, my library account, and my wife’s senate campaign fund well over an aggregate of $1 million, so also I give your felon ex-husband a presidential pardon?

I realize that the legal distinction may involve the exact timing and tape-recorded record of the transaction, and the use of an ex-wife intermediary. But, in a moral sense, they seem just about the same to me.

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