NY Times Suddenly Concerned Over Presidential Pardons

Let’s face it, all presidents in the modern era have used pardons that left people shaking their heads. You can find lots of examples for Republicans and Democrats. But, have you heard the NY Times Editorial Board complain? Well, that’s because Trump is now in office

The President and His Power to Pardon

The Constitution assigns to the president the “power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”

On its face, this authority appears unquestionable, and the Supreme Court has called it “unlimited.” But in his more than two years in office, Donald Trump has found ways to wield or dangle the pardon power in a manner that departs from any established practice and even calls into question the principles of justice that undergird it.

The full pardons of Conrad Black, a wealthy friend of Mr. Trump’s who has written charitably about him, and Patrick Nolan, a former Republican Assembly leader from California who has criticized aspectsof the Russia investigation, are the latest examples in what seems to be a new trend in presidential clemency: mercy for lawbreakers in the mold of disgraced politicians, media personalities and political allies who have flattered, defended or curried favor with the president.

Then came news that the president may mark this Memorial Day with pardons for outlaws in a category all their own — war criminals. The Times reported on Saturday that Mr. Trump has asked the Justice Department’s pardon unit to begin processing paperwork for what could be serial pardons for service members accused or convicted of war crimes. This month, Mr. Trump already pardoned Michael Behenna, a former Army lieutenant who was court-martialed and convicted of killing a detained Iraqi man whom he was interrogating. The American Civil Liberties Union said the pardon represented “a presidential endorsement of murder.”

This may leave you asking: What have these people done to merit a presidential pardon?

See, when Trump hands out pardons it is Bad. Where were the complaints from the NYTEB when Obama was handing out a pardon (technically clemency) to Bradley Manning? Or how about Oscar Lopez Rivera, a terrorist member of the FALN? All the drug dealers?

But, you know, Orange Man Bad, and no matter what Trump does Liberals will throw a fit. When he provided a pardon for Alice Marie Johnson, Democrats found a way to spin this as being bad.

President Bill Clinton’s 11th-hour pardon of the fugitive financier Marc Rich caused its share of controversy and even led to congressional and criminal inquiries in 2001. At the time, The Times reported, senior government officials in the Bush administration said “the investigation would try to determine whether anyone acting on behalf of Mr. Rich in effect sought to buy his pardon or obtain it by fraudulent misrepresentation.” It is past time for Congress to display a more robust appetite for exploring this president’s use of the pardon power — if only to assure the public that he is pursuing his constitutional duties rather than his political interests.

And that last bit (along with some other pardons the NYTEB do not like) was thrown in to make it seem like this isn’t all about Trump Derangement Syndrome. The Constitution gives the POTUS the power to do this, for good or bad. George Washington pardoned those involved in the Whiskey Rebellion. Andrew Johnson pardoned the citizens of the Confederate States. Jimmy Carter pardoned Vietnam war draft dodgers. And there are others. The Times is just calling for House Democrats to use this as another means to investigate Trump.

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One Response to “NY Times Suddenly Concerned Over Presidential Pardons”

  1. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    While presidents possess nearly unlimited power to commute or pardon, that doesn’t immunize them from criticism.

    Ford pardoned Nixon. Pence may pardon trump. trump pardoned Arpaio. Bush pardoned Scooter.

    The thesis of the editorial is that trump has been giving pardons to political allies.

    And trump is now considering pardoning war criminals convicted of murdering civilians – why? – because his base approves of murdering Muslims and approves of giving soldiers the unlimited power to kill them.

    Do you think the US military was wrong to prosecute these men? Were they unfairly convicted of murdering civilians?

    The Blackwater mercenary, Nicholas Slatten, was convicted of 1st degree murder by a federal jury. “Ten women, two men and two children were killed in the shooting, and 18 others were injured, according to the United States attorney’s office for the District of Columbia. Three other Blackwater contractors, Dustin L. Heard, Evan S. Liberty and Paul A. Slough, were convicted of voluntary manslaughter and using a machine gun to carry out a violent crime. Because of mandatory sentencing guidelines for machine-gun crimes, they were given 30 years in prison. A fifth contractor, Jeremy Ridgeway, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter before the 2014 trial and cooperated with prosecutors.”

    Does Cadet Bone Spurs approve of America soldiers and mercenaries murdering civilians? That’s the message he’s sending. Do you approve?

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