Thursday, February 14, 2008

The President: Pardon for Roger Clemens?

The Associated Press is reporting that one of Brian McNamee's lawyers - Richard Emery - is predicting that "Rocket" Roger Clemens will be pardoned by the son of his close personal friend, former President George H. W. Bush. Emory also made the now-obligatory (and consistently unimpressive) referece to the President's commutation of part of Scooter Libby's sentence and claimed some Republicans treated his client harshly because of the pitcher's friendship with the Bush family. More specifically, Emery said:

"It would be the easiest thing in the world for George W. Bush given the corrupt proclivities of his administration to say Roger Clemens is an American hero, Roger Clemens helped children. It's my belief they have some reason to believe they can get a pardon ... They have some belief that even if he's prosecuted, he will never have to serve jail time or face a trail. This is a charade we're going through."
USA Today reports the lawyer's commentary as follows:

"It would be a prospective pardon. They're perfectly legal and it would be typical of the George Bush White House. We'd expect Bush to call Clemens a 'historic figure' who has done so much for this country and then let him off."

White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto calmly responded, "I'm not aware of Mr. Clemens having been charged with anything." Meanwhile, Clemens' lawyer says:

"First of all, Roger is never going to be convicted of anything, and second, he (the president) is never going to do that. It is the most irresponsible and unbelievable statement in a long line of irresponsible and unbelievable statements from those guys.
Perhaps one of the more bizarre aspects of initial reporting on this item is found in the USA Today article. It quotes Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, as saying, "Of all the presidents to grant such a pardon, this would be the last." What on earth does that mean? See Associated Press story here. See USA Today story here. See Washington Post coverage here.

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