How much does a pardon from Trump cost? Well, apparently the going rate is a mere $302,542. Cheap at twice the price!

The Daily Beast was first to note that Paul Pogue, one of yesterday's pardon recipients, appears to have paid for the favor in cash. Or perhaps his family got it for him as an early Fathers Day gift. At any rate, between August and October of 2019, Pogue's son Ben and daughter-in-law Ashleigh made upwards of $300,000 in contributions to the Trump campaign, the RNC, and the Trump Victory PAC. Which is probably not a coincidence!


Paul Pogue's family runs a commercial construction company in McKinney, Texas. According to the McKinney Courier-Gazette, Pogue admitted in 2010 that he'd filed false tax returns for 2003, 2004, and 2005, understating his income by upwards of $1.5 million in total. He pleaded guilty to a felony, paid his back taxes and the $250,000 fine, and accepted the probation and community service. Or, as the White House put it, "To avoid the cost and burden of fighting the charges, which could have put at risk the jobs of the 150 people employed by his company, Mr. Pogue agreed to plead guilty and was sentenced to 3 years of probation." Which is ... one way of looking at it.

Here's the FEC's tally of Ben Pogue's contributions this electoral cycle. Note that the pissant $5,600 max to Trump's campaign — that's $2,800 for the primary, plus another $2,800 for the general election — is dwarfed by the $232,442 of unregulated cash he was able to rain down on the PAC and the RNC. Thanks, Chief Justice Roberts!

Note also that the RNC appears to have taken two $50,000 donations, tacked on 3.5 percent for the credit card swipe fee, and then broken it up into random numbers over three months. If anyone can 'splain why, other than just making it harder to do the math, please holler at us in the comments!

Here's the listing for the Missus, who seems to have a $2,916.98 soft spot for Carl DeMaio, who is currently in a flame war with Darrell Issa to replace Duncan Hunter as San Diego County's congressman. But not as soft as her $58,900 love for the Trump PAC and the RNC. Plus the obligatory $5,600 for the campaign, of course.

The Daily Beast also notes that Ashleigh Pogue posted this picture of herself with DJ 'n' Kimmy on Instagram the very same week she and her husband cut $155,000 to Trump, the RNC, and the PAC. Not that the campaign would ever coordinate with the PAC, perish the thought! RIGHT, JUSTICE ROBERTS?

Here's the White House list of notable people advocating for Paul Pogue's pardon.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Mike Buster, Steve Dulin, Robert Morris, Jack Graham, and James Robison are among the many people who support this grant of clemency.

Notice anyone missing? (Hint: Rhymes with Don Schmunior and Kimberly Schmilfoyle!)

In summary and in conclusion, there's nothing to see here. No pardons were sold for cash. Donald Trump is draining the swamp. HOSANNA.

[The Daily Beast]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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