Hillary Clinton’s Fate Could Lie With Presidential Pardon
Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails on her private server and FBI investigations into the Clinton Foundation may lead to a criminal indictment. A Trump administration could fulfill its campaign promise to “Lock Her Up” and satisfy the quest for justice millions of angry voters demanded. With this dark cloud of criminal conspiracy looming over Clinton, will President Obama spare her from another bruising public humiliation? Obama can grant a presidential pardon to Hillary right up until noon on January 20th, 2017.
Will President Obama Pardon Hillary?
The current president addressed this issue when he was asked back in August of this year.
“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.”
Press Secretary Josh Earnest said last week that nothing has changed since the election outcome. “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” he told reporters during a bittersweet post election press conference.
Many people say that since Clinton has not been formally indicted of a crime, therefore no pardon is necessary. History will show that presidential pardons clearing someone of potential charges is not unprecedented. Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon of any possible crimes that could arise from the Watergate Scandal. This allowed the outgoing president to avoid any future prosecution that could arise from any evidence uncovered years after leaving the White House. Presidents Obama and Trump could do the same for Hillary if it seemed politically prudent.
Update: USA Today reported that Jesse Jackson is asking President Obama to issue a blanket pardon to Hillary Clinton.
Will President Trump Appoint a Special Prosecutor?
During his interview on 60 Minutes, President Elect Trump was asked about his intentions on a possible Clinton prosecution.
Lesley Stahl: Are you going to ask for a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton over her emails? And are you, as you had said to her face, going to try and put her in jail?
Donald Trump: Well, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do, I’m going to think about it. Um, I feel that I want to focus on jobs, I want to focus on healthcare, I want to focus on the border and immigration and doing a really great immigration bill. We want to have a great immigration bill. And I want to focus on all of these other things that we’ve been talking about.
Lesley Stahl: You– you know, you–
Donald Trump: And get the country straightened away.
Lesley Stahl: You called her “crooked Hillary,” said you wanted to get in jail, your people in your audiences kept saying, “Lock em’ up.”
Donald Trump: Yeah. She did–
Lesley Stahl: Do you—
Donald Trump: She did some bad things, I mean she did some bad things–
Lesley Stahl: I know, but a special prosecutor? You think you might…
Donald Trump: I don’t want to hurt them. I don’t want to hurt them. They’re, they’re good people. I don’t want to hurt them. And I will give you a very, very good and definitive answer the next time we do 60 Minutes together.
So the answer is: Maybe? If he does not want to “hurt her” letting her alleged crimes go unpunished would certainly be seen a overtly kind gesture.
Should President Trump Pardon Hillary?
Trump could turn around and appease the thousands of frightened liberals who are being organized by professional paid protesters and offer Hillary a presidential pardon. This might upset his core supporters who despise the former Secretary of State for her lies on Benghazi and her private email server. If Trump’s newly appointed White House senior advisor Stephen Bannon were to help push this forward, this might be a way to help heal and unify the country.
Easing the divisiveness is in the best interest of both sides of the political divide. Trump and Bannon are smart enough to see a way to make this happen and convince their side to accept a deal that could ease the suffering Hillary supporters who desperately need more than a hug right now.