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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, January 18, 2021

Pardon Me?

The President's authority to grant pardons is specifically set forth in the U.S. Constitution as follows: "[H]e shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment." It has been construed broadly, applying even to cases in which no charges have been filed. The most notable example, of course, is President Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon. Whether a President may pardon himself for his own crimes is unclear. Also, the pardon power, by its own language, has no application to state offences. Unfortunately, Donald Trump has made a mockery of even this admittedly broad power.  He has granted far fewer pardons (94) than Barack Obama (1,927) before him. But Trump has used his power to reward political allies, including corrupt politicians. He has ignored Department of Justice policy, opening the door to influence peddlers who are collecting large fees. 

In one instance, a Rudy Giuliani associate is alleged to have demanded a $2 million fee for securing a pardon, although Giuliani has denied this claim. 

On Wednesday, Trump is expected to release his final list of pardons. It could extend to Steve Bannon, who is among those who promoted the often debunked notion that Trump lost the Presidential election as a result of voter fraud. It could also include Rudy Giuliani, his children and himself.  

So much for draining the swamp. 


Anonymous said...

Would not surprise me if he pardoned everyone who stormed the Capitol building

Anonymous said...

They should have tossed his one-term, twice impeached ass when they had the chance.

But 1,927 by Obama? WTF? What kind of cash did that raise? The more my dislike of trainwreck Trump is confirmed, the more of a sleazeball I realize Obama was. Our executive branch has too much power. If impeachment is the mechanism by which executive power is reduced, so be it. The midterms will set up Biden's impeachment in '23 and the process will continue. It should, regardless of which party's idiot is in office.

Anonymous said...

All the politically prosecuted should be pardoned, including Assange and Snowden.

Anonymous said...

Every president signed sketchy pardons. Just a few - Obama = Oscar Lopez Rivera; George Bush Jr. = 2 border patrol agents who shot an unarmed man; Bill Clinton = Marc Rich.

I could go on and on. And on.

It is a bipartisan swamp. We need to deal with all of it.

Anonymous said...

Did Paw'low'ski raise $2 million dollars for his pardon yet? He has less than 50 hours, yippie...

Anonymous said...

Can a president pardon those enjoyably rectally challenged individuals? Seeing as this is a very important issue in the swamp begining with buttdigg.

Anonymous said...

Puerto Rican terrorist Oscar Lopez-Rivera helped establish the violent Puerto Rican independence group the FALN. The group was best known for bombing the Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan in 1975 that killed four people, and was tied to at least 100 bombings, most in New York, including the 1982 New Year’s Eve bombings of NYPD Headquarters that left three NYPD officers seriously injured, blinded or maimed.

Lopez-Rivera was offered a commutation by President Clinton in 1999 but refused because President Clinton required him to publicly renounce terrorism. President Obama didn’t care if he renounced terrorism or not and commuted his sentence anyway.

Anonymous said...

As with many of the items and decisions that our founding fathers made and set up in the constitution nearly 250 years ago it's intent and purpose have sort of lost relevance to modern laws and understanding.

It is clear that this power has been leveraged and abused by many recent administrations and that this abuse has further eroded trust in government.

There needs to be limits established on executive pardons, either a small finite # allowed for every 4 year term or a mechanism installed that requires some minimal legislative review and approval.

Anonymous said...

"But 1,927 by Obama? WTF?"
The majority of Obama's pardons were commutations of sentances for low-level drug offenses for people serving excessive mandatory minimums.

Anonymous said...


President Obama issued 212 pardons and commuted 1715 sentences.
President Eisenhower issued 1110 pardons and commuted 47sentences.

Anonymous said...

"López Rivera was not directly linked to any specific bombings.[2][3] Many considered him to be the world's longest-held political prisoner, with a number of political and religious groups calling for his release."
"President Barack Obama commuted López Rivera's sentence;[5] he was released in May 2017,[6] having served 36 years in prison, longer than any other member of the FALN"

Anonymous said...

Total joke--our government has policies and traditions that are off the wall--no wonder the country is falling apart.

Peterjcochran said...

Oh Ya, Theodore Roosevelt’s statement said “ Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President. “

Bernie O'Hare said...

Great quote, Peter!