Democrats rip GOP’s ‘soft-on-crime’ plan to pardon rioters and bring Paul Manafort back to run convention – Washington Examiner

Democrats are attacking the GOP’s plans to bring Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman whom the former president pardoned for tax fraud in 2018, to its national convention by painting the former president as being “soft on crime.”

The Democratic National Committee is planning on painting Trump as someone who pardons criminals and brings fraudulent people to his team, according to an email memo. The Republican National Convention is being held in July in Milwaukee.

Court officers lead a handcuffed Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, out of court, where he pled not guilty to state mortgage fraud charges in New York City on Thursday, June 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

“This year’s Republican National Convention is shaping up to be a giant stage for Donald Trump’s soft-on-crime agenda,” DNC Rapid Response Director Alex Floyd said in a statement. “From pushing pardons for violent insurrectionists to elevating convicted tax cheats and fraudsters like Paul Manafort, Trump’s GOP is quickly becoming the ideal spot for anyone convicted of a felony.”

Republicans have long touted their “tough on crime” policies, highlighted by former President Richard Nixon’s “war on drugs” and continued through the decades. The GOP has also attacked the Left for being “soft on crime,” with such arguments being made in big cities such as Washington, D.C., and New York. Now, Democrats are looking to reverse that narrative.

“Despite Manafort’s multiple convictions for fraud, Donald Trump is pushing to bring him on to help run the Republican convention,” according to the memo.

The DNC highlighted Trump’s push for pardons of Jan. 6 insurrectionists, and the committee plans to try and use that against the former president.

“January 6 lawyer and Trump ally Joseph McBride has made it clear he wants ‘the January 6 movement’ to be a part of the Republican National Convention,” the DNC’s message reads.

The memo included a line from Semafor highlighting how much the “January 6 movement” is growing in Trump’s “orbit.”

“In early 2022, Joseph McBride, a lawyer for multiple January 6 defendants, went to Mar-a-Lago to speak with members of Trump’s team,” it reads. “Since that first meeting, McBride says he’s spoken with people across Trump’s orbit — even meeting with Trump’s legal team on occasion — and that January 6 events have grown organically over time.”


Democrats are also attempting to underscore Trump’s hold on the Republican Party as a whole, mentioning how Trump is elevating “MAGA extremists and conspiracy theorists.” After Ronna McDaniel stepped down as RNC chairwoman last month, Trump ally Michael Whatley replaced her with Lara Trump, the former president’s daughter-in-law, hired as his co-chairwoman. The pairing confirmed Trump’s hold over the GOP.

“As the RNC merges with the Trump campaign and continues their extreme MAGA rebrand, the roster of MAGA extremists and conspiracy theorists among their leadership only continues to grow,” the memo reads.