President Trump Pardons John Tate and Jesse Benton

On December 23, 2020, President Trump issued a number of presidential pardons to 26 individuals. In these cases, the president granted full pardons. For three other individuals, they had their sentences partially or fully commuted. 

John Tate and Jesse Benton were sentenced to 6 months of home confinement and 2 years’ probation for making indirect payments to a state Senator in an alleged bribery plot. But on December 23, president Trump fully pardoned these men.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission Lee Goodman supported Trump’s action. Goodman believes that the reporting law that got Tate and Benton in legal trouble was unclear and not firmly in place during the time of their violation.

John Tate was the President of Campaign for Liberty and the campaign manager for former Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign and Jesse Benton was a campaign manager for Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and Mitch McConnell. 

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With how convoluted the campaign finance regulatory regime is, it’s good that these two liberty conservatives were pardoned. America needs more simplified campaign finance laws so that the average American can participate without fear of having their First Amendment rights violated. 

Hopefully, Trump musters the courage to pardon other people such as Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Ross Ulbricht. These folks truly deserve a presidential pardon and should be allowed to roam freely. Trump should listen to his liberty conservative and continue pardoning political dissidents.