It's not surprising that a criminal like Trump pardons other criminals. But apparently to get a pardon, one has to be either a Republican, a convicted child murderer or a turkey. — Robert Pratt, Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
It's not surprising that a criminal like Trump pardons other criminals. But apparently to get a pardon, one has to be either a Republican, a convicted child murderer or a turkey. — Robert Pratt, Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
A federal judge in Iowa ridiculed Trump's pardons: 'It's not surprising that a criminal like Trump pardons other criminals'
  • A federal judge in Iowa ridiculed President Donald Trump's presidential pardons, saying "it's not surprising that a criminal like Trump pardons other criminals."
  • Senior U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt of the Southern District of Iowa has previously sounded the alarm against political corruption, mocking Trump's pardons, which include convicted Republican campaign operatives and former members of Congress.
  • "But apparently to get a pardon, one has to be either a Republican, a convicted child murderer or a turkey," Pratt joked in a phone call with the Associated Press on Monday.
A federal judge in Iowa who has warned against political corruption is ridiculing President Donald Trump's pardons, including those issued to convicted Republican campaign operatives and former members of Congress.

"It's not surprising that a criminal like Trump pardons other criminals," senior U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt of the Southern District of Iowa told The Associated Press in a brief phone interview Monday. In a bit of humor, he said: "But apparently to get a pardon, one has to be either a Republican, a convicted child murderer or a turkey."

Pratt was referring to pardons Trump granted to his former campaign aides convicted during the special counsel's Russia inquiry, former GOP congressmen who committed crimes, and security contractors convicted of killing innocent civilians in Iraq. Trump also pardons turkeys — this year two from Iowa — annually before Thanksgiving.

Pratt has been on the bench since his appointment by President Bill Clinton in 1997. He has had a reduced caseload since 2012, when he assumed senior status.


Pratt made the remarks when asked for comment on pardons granted to two former top aides for Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign, who were convicted in a corruption scheme related to the Iowa caucuses.