Republican Senator Lashes Out Against Donald Trump’s Controversial Pardons: ‘This Is Rotten To The Core’

Donald Trump is facing some sharp scrutiny from his own party, with a Republican senator lashing out after the president’s controversial set of pardons this week.

On Tuesday, Trump handed down pardons to a number of prominent Republicans and many of his close allies, including longtime political adviser Roger Stone and former campaign manager Paul Manafort. He had also pardoned two GOP representatives, who were among the first to endorse him, as well as a group of private military contractors previously convicted of killing civilians in Iraq.

Many of those pardons already given were individuals who had showed loyalty to Trump, including some caught up in the Russia probe. He had pardoned Alex van der Zwaan and former campaign aide George Papadopoulos, both of whom pleaded guilty to charges that arose from Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The moves came under sharp scrutiny, with Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse joining the critics. As The Hill reported, the Republican issued a statement speaking out against the move.

“This is rotten to the core,” Sasse said, noting that Manafort and Stone had “flagrantly and repeatedly violated the law and harmed Americans.”

Trump had also pardoned Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The elder had pleaded guilty to 16 counts of tax evasion and retaliation against a witness for a sordid scheme. As ABC News noted, Kushner hired a prostitute to ensnare his brother-in-law, arranging for them to have an encounter at a hotel rigged with a hidden camera. He then sent the recording to his brother-in-law’s wife, his sister.

Sasse has been among Trump’s most vocal critics on the right, often speaking out against his controversial statements and policies. Back in October, he warned that the GOP could be facing a “wipeout” in the upcoming election due to what he saw as Trump’s failure to forcefully speak out against China and his actions to cozy up to dictators.

“The way he kisses dictators’ butts. I mean, the way he ignores that the Uighurs are in literal concentration camps in Xinjiang right now,” he said in remarks recorded from a telephone town hall with constituents. “He hasn’t lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong Kongers.”

As The Inquisitr noted, many others spoke out against Trump for the pardons, with some reporters noting that more were expected to be coming during the final weeks of his presidency. Jonathan Swan of Axios reported that Trump was expected to hand them out “like Christmas gifts” to close allies.

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