Conservative commentator Mike Cernovich believes that Donald Trump could have gained crucial votes he needed to win the election by offering a pardon to Ross Ulbricht, who is imprisoned for charges including drug trafficking, money laundering, and cyber-related crimes linked to his founding of the online black market Silk Road.
The comment was a response to Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney, who asked his followers what the president could have done differently to defeat Joe Biden.
“Joe Biden by less than 70,000 votes. (Ga. + Wisconsin + Arizona). Why could Trump have done different to get those 70,000 votes?” Carney asked on Twitter.
“Pardoned Ross Ulbricht. That’s it. That’s the election,” Cernovich tweeted back.
The commentator previously pressed Trump to commute Ulbricht’s sentence. In a Twitter thread from early last year, he outlined the case for pardoning the computer scientist. He claimed that Trump would not lose support from the decision and would instead either gain supporters or “neutralize attackers.”
According to the filmmaker, Trump could gain backing from people involved in blockchain — who he claims want Ulbricht pardoned — and enrage the “deep state.”
“The same people who targeted @realDonaldTrump and his son went after Ross Ulbricht,” Cernovich wrote.
He also claimed that the pardon would be the “smartest investment” of Trump’s presidency.
“Pardoning Ross is all upside for @realDonaldTrump with zero loss of support.”
A Change.org petition for Ulbricht’s clemency has received almost 360,000 supporters, and the FBI’s handling of the case has been questioned due to alleged corruption on behalf of the agents working on the case.
With mainstream media outlets projecting that Biden will take the White House in January, calls for Trump to use his pardon power on figures like Ulbricht have increased. Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are two other prominent individuals — both involved in leaking classified United States intelligence — who have been floated for pardons.
“@realDonaldTrump, you still have an opportunity to bring home all the troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria (not just a partial drawdown), and to pardon Snowden and Assange. Millions of Americans will support you in these efforts,” Michigan congressman Justin Amash tweeted on Tuesday.
Many others appear to agree with pardoning the controversial leakers.
Pardon Julian Assange.
Pardon Ross Ulbricht.
Release the FBI file kept on MLK Jr.
Release the FBI file on the Pulse Nightclub Shooting.
Release it all!
— Cerno (@Cernovich) November 8, 2020
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) November 14, 2020
Trump needs to pardon Assange now. He could get to the bottom of Dominion hacking evidence could be submitted and posted on @Wikileaks. This is what’s missing. The Left / Fake News has too much control over the narrative. Free Assange!!! Get the hacking evidence out now!
— Randy Quaid (@RandyRRQuaid) November 14, 2020
Trump should use his remaining time in office to shine a light on the intelligence community which spied on him and his family and never accepted his presidency.
DECLASSIFY THE DEEP STATE.
Expose the mass surveillance of Americans. Pardon truth-tellers like Snowden & Assange.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) November 8, 2020
As noted by Newsweek, many of Trump’s predecessors have used their final weeks in the White House to issues pardons. In addition to the figures mentioned above, the publication highlighted other controversial people the head of state could absolve of their crimes, including former Trump campaign associates Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, and Roger Stone — the latter of whom has had his sentence commuted.