The Pardo: The constitutional investigator

Curious about the nine white men that just received subpoenas from the Senate Judiciary Committee?

The “pardo,” as we call them, is the first amendment hero the court appointed to investigate the possible Russian infiltration of the 2016 presidential election.

What did they do?

Pardo is a “pardo,” appointed to investigate the Russian infiltration of the 2016 presidential election.

Who gave them the job?

Former special prosecutor and United States Attorney Gregory Scarpa (one name only).

What does pardo do?

This is an obscure position, but one which has existed since the “Mucklerock” days of the 19th century when Joe McCarthy was the Watergate Junior Prosecutor. And, sadly for the Mucklerock and his convictions, Pardo is not in charge of jury selection. Rather, the Pardo (or Pajo) investigates the crimes being suspected by Congress of foreign interference with the election. (Separate from the Senate probe of the April 13 indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officers accused of hacking and disseminating stolen Democratic National Committee emails during the election season. They were among more than a dozen Russians indicted by a grand jury on 12 charges.)

How does he do it?

Just about everything. He sent a letter to his 75 or so vaunted Bureau agents who take turns serving as Pardo. They conduct undercover missions for the bureau, operate under aliases and never, ever ask for a pass to leave the country. There are also foreign reporting requirements for the Pardo to follow.

What investigations has he requested?

Using his bookmarks, his website is a treasure trove for Clinton investigation fans. Pardo, however, does not handle those pesky things like the “FBI investigation of Clinton” and there is no mention of her on his site. The investigative project’s scope, however, is massive.

He’s compiled a collection of criminal investigations involving alleged foreign interference into elections. The list features nearly 30 states. Most of these involve the so-called super PAC scandal where ads are paid for in foreign money by individuals outside the United States and show up on American television stations. There is a long list of electoral offices and campaigns touched by alleged foreign interference, from officials in the state departments of elections to school board directors to several representatives on the Federal Election Commission. The list also touches local candidates and local races such as the sheriff’s office, city councils and school boards.

Who is Pardo?

Gregory Scarpa “Pardo” has been carrying on the tradition of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which was run from 1939 to 1952 by Leo Baeck, a socialist politician. In the 1950s, when the U.S. Republican Party did not go along with the Bretton Woods Agreement in reducing international debt, Baeck, using a mixture of humor and threats, forced member’s resignations. Baeck might have been the inspiration for James Holmes, the psychiatrist who walked into a movie theater and gunned down hundreds of people watching a “Batman” film.

Why did he issue the subpoena?

A reporter uncovered the “House sub-committee on investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election” in mid-October, and Congressman Chris Stewart (R-Utah) made clear what his committee intends to do.

“The subcommittee’s mission will be to document and report on all ties, investments, and financial relationships between individuals, groups, or organizations that interacted with our presidential campaign and its policymaking apparatus and those related to the Kremlin, and the breaches of our democracy, to those individuals and groups who perpetrated the vulnerabilities or engage in the collusion to breach our democracy and democracy by way of the Kremlin,” Stewart said in a statement announcing the probe.

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