Monday, November 17, 2008

The Obama Administration: Pardon in the Works for Mark Cuban?

The Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) has filed "insider trading" charges against Dallas Mavericks owner - and Barack Obama supporter - Mark Cuban. Already there is talk in some quarters that Cuban may be preemptively pardoned by president elect Barack Obama immediately following the application of the Oath of Office. Such a pardon would effectively derail any further investigation by authorities and erase the possibility that Cuban would be charged with anything, regardless of any mountain of evidence that might (or may not) be compiled against him.

PardonPower was unable to reach either Obama or Cuban for comment. However, one unnamed source said, "Such a pardon would not surprise me one bit. Obama is a corrupt Chicago thug and letting his buddy off the hook would be standard fare." An attorney, who also declined to go on record, says:

It would certainly be an unprecedented and inappropriate act. The Scooter Libby commutation would look saintly by comparison. With the economy the way that is is, if there is any justice in the world, Congress will launch an investigation the second the clemency warrant is signed. No president has ever granted a pardon to a supporter charged with insider trading right after the inauguration.
Scholars say President Obama could grant a preemptive pardon for Cuban at any time, before during or after conviction. The pardon could also be granted regardless of the "rules" and "guidelines" in the Department of Justice regarding "waiting periods" for clemency applications. It is also said that Obama would not have to provide a single reason for the pardon and could grant clemency without comment. Obama could also grant pardons to friends and associates of Cuban who might be ensnared in future investigations. As one scholar put it, "there is really no limit to what Obama can do. No one can stop him. It's just unbelievable"

Other presidents have granted controversial pardons throughout history. Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton pardoned Marc Rich. Pardons were also granted to Confederate soldiers after the Civil War. Some have called for restrictions on the pardon power, but attempts by Congress to limit the power have failed. Developing ...

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Editor: Regular readers of this blog will correctly judge this post to be a light-hearted lampoon of the kind of news "reporting" and blogging that we have had to endure throughout the Bush administration.

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