Thursday, March 11, 2010

Becker on Ford's Pardon of Nixon

Last night, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library hosted a lecture by Benton Becker, a key advisor to the President on the pardon of Richard Nixon. More specifically, Becker was asked to research two questions 1) could a pardon be issued before any charges were filed? and 2) does the president have the right to issue a blanket pardon absolving a would-be defendant of whatever charges he may face? Becker filed a response here which gave Ford the "go" signal on both counts. Ford then sent him to Nixon's ranch in order to get Nixon to 1) sign over his presidential papers 2) accept the pardon in writing and 3) to convey to Nixon that acceptance of the pardon was an admission of guilt. See story here.

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