Donald Trump issued full pardons this morning to a pair of Oregon ranchers who were convicted in 2012 and sent to prison on arson charges, before he left for the NATO summit in Brussels. Dwight Hammond, 76, and his son Steven, 49, were convicted because they had set a series of fires on their ranch that spread to federal land.
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) July 10, 2018
The more controversial part of their convictions is that they led to an armed takeover of a federal office led by anti-government “sovereign citizen” extremists Ammon and Ryan Bundy. Many believe that if they had been any other race, they would have been shot.
The 41-day occupation of the refuge cost taxpayers at least $3.3 million to cover the massive police response, a week of shuttered schools and a long list of supplies ranging from food to flashlight batteries. At the time, the FBI reported that the domestic terrorists used backhoes, government trucks and computers and left piles of garbage and feces.
I hate to bring race into this situation, but just try to imagine Trump pardoning these guys if they were Muslim and launched an armed occupation of a federal building. It wouldn’t happen. You can’t help but consider race in a situation like this, especially when its Trump issuing the pardon.