Distract them, distract them!

Today was Day Two of the public impeachment inquiry hearings, and I suspect Trump is feeling less than happy. The House is moving along and he can’t control it. When he tweets about it he gets slapped down, even by his favorite network.

So what’s he do? He pardons three military men for crimes they’d been convicted of in military courts.

President Trump cleared three members of the armed services on Friday who have been accused or convicted of war crimes, overruling military leaders who had sought to punish them. All three have been championed by conservative lawmakers and commentators, who have portrayed them as war heroes unfairly prosecuted for actions taken in the heat and confusion of battle.

In a statement released by the White House late Friday, Mr. Trump announced that he was ordering the full pardon of Clint Lorance, a former Army lieutenant, from the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, where he is serving a 19-year sentence for the murder of two civilians.

He ordered the full pardon of Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn, an Army Special Forces officer who was facing murder charges for killing an unarmed Afghan he believed was a Taliban bomb maker.

And he reversed the demotion of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who was acquitted of murder charges but convicted of a lesser offense in a high-profile war crimes case over the summer.

I suspect he did this today because the testimony of career civil service diplomats this week goes a long way to showing that he did indeed attempt to extort Ukraine’s new President into opening investigations into non-existent crimes by his potential 2020 opponent Joe Biden. In addition, one of his closest confidants was convicted of seven felonies in New York today.

Mr. Stone, 67, was convicted in federal court of seven felonies for obstructing the congressional inquiry, lying to investigators under oath and trying to block the testimony of a witness whose account would have exposed his lies. Jurors deliberated for a little over seven hours before convicting him on all counts. Together, the charges carry a maximum prison term of 50 years.

Trump needed a distraction. The fact that he picked pardoning criminals as a good option is typical of the man.