Uh-Oh! Here’s why Obama is unlikely to pardon Hillary-

Uh-Oh! Here’s why Obama is unlikely to pardon Hillary– –7f.47fh.,b12.43

It sounds like there are two chances for President Obama in granting a pardon to Hillary Clinton:

1.) Slim, and

2.) Nil.. There are some interesting comments from Press Secretary Josh Earnest that make the possibility of pardons seem slim.

President Obama has a process, and that process has not been started. Additionally , and almost as a throw away line, Earnest mentioned four others who would no be receiving Presidential clemency as well. Daved Petraeus was among those named. See the reasons Josh gave and the other names below.

Hillary Clinton will not get a pardon from President Obama.

If Obama is to be kept to his word, neither will former CIA director David Petraeus, convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, intelligence contractor Edward Snowden or Pvt. Chelsea Manning, all of whom were accused or convicted of mishandling classified information.

The reason is simple: None of them has applied to the Office of the Pardon Attorney for executive clemency.

Obama addressed “last-minute” presidential pardons at a news conference in August. “The process that I put in place is not going to vary depending on how close I get to the election,” he said in response to a question from USA TODAY. “So it’s going to be reviewed by the pardon attorney, it will be reviewed by my White House counsel, and I’m going to, as best as I can, make these decisions based on the merits, as opposed to political considerations.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed last week that Obama hasn’t changed that philosophy after the election. “I wouldn’t speculate at this point about what impact that may have on hypothetical pardon requests that he receives.  I’ll just say that the guidance that President Obama shared with you is still operative.”

Speculation about a Clinton pardon, already rampant before the election, intensified after the election of rival Donald Trump as president. At one debate, Trump told Clinton it would be bad for her if he were elected “because you’d be in jail.” Trump aides have refused to rule out a prosecution after Inauguration Day.

That posture could increase pressure on Obama to pardon Clinton, but there’s no indication that she’s sought a pardon — or that she would accept one if granted. Though some pardons have been granted on the grounds of innocence, they’re often perceived as a sign of guilt.

It’s not necessary for someone to be charged or convicted of a crime to receive pardon. President Gerald Ford pardoned his predecessor, Richard Nixon, in 1974, although Nixon had not been charged or convicted of a crime…..

“Granting a pardon to Hillary Clinton would be one of the most controversial and misguided clemency decisions that Obama could make,” said Jeffrey Crouch, a professor at American University and author of The Presidential Pardon Power. “Pardoning a former member of his administration to spare her from the hassle and embarrassment of judicial prosecution would be against what the framers of the Constitution had in mind for the clemency power. It would also violate his pledge not to grant any politically motivated pardons in his last days in office.”

Crouch said a Clinton pardon would continue a string of late-term clemency abuses by our past three presidents: George H.W. Bush pardoned several figures in the Iran-contra affair; Bill Clinton pardoned Democratic donors; and George W. Bush commuted the prison sentence of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff, who was convicted for lying to the FBI in the investigation of the outing of an undercover CIA operative.

“I think he would prefer not to be remembered as the fourth president in a row who abused the clemency power to protect his political associates or supporters,” Crouch said.

There are also practical considerations: The Office of the Pardon Attorney puts most of its resources into the clemency initiative, Obama’s strategy to cut short long mandatory minimum sentences imposed during the “war on drugs.”

And there’s just not enough time for a new pardon application to get to Obama’s desk without taking shortcuts. Pardon applications can often take more than two or three years to process, requiring an FBI background check, character references and even employment and credit checks.

The White House could speed up the process by putting pressure on the pardon attorney and the FBI. But FBI Director James Comey has expressed public misgivings about Clinton’s use of a private email server to send and receive classified information, although he decided criminal charges were not warranted.

Still, the White House has expedited pardon applications. Former pardon attorney Margaret Love said the White House could put pressure on the Justice Department to speed up the process, as President Clinton did in 1995 with a friend of his mother who was convicted of illegal gambling in 1972.

“I did Jack Pakis, who Clinton wanted to do, in six days,” she said. “Quite apart from that, there’s absolutely nothing required in particular for a pardon application.”

Love said those hurry-up pardons were “irregular” and would violate Obama’s pledge to follow the normal process.

That’s the strategy  employed by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor exiled in Russia to avoid charges that he violated the Espionage Act. His lawyer, Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union, acknowledged that his client doesn’t meet the Justice Department guidelines to be eligible for a pardon.

“The Constitution didn’t assign this power to the Department of Justice. It assigned it to the president,” Wizner said in August. “I would hope that President Obama would like to resolve this situation on his watch.”

There are some prominent names that could — at least theoretically — receive clemency. The Office of the Pardon Attorney confirmed it has pending applications from former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (racketeering, extortion, bribery and fraud), Native American activist Leonard Peltier (murder), former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers (fraud and conspiracy) and singer Ron Isley (tax evasion).

Then there’s the exceptional case of Jack Johnson, the African-American boxing champion convicted in 1912 of transporting a woman across state lines for immoral purposes. Several congressional resolutions have urged Obama to grant a pardon on grounds that the trial was racially motivated.

source–jeffrey crouch, margaret love,


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