Monday, March 28, 2016

USA Today: Former U.S. Pardon Attorney Speaks

Gregory Korte of USA Today reports that the Obama administration "instructed" Justice Department attorneys "to neglect applications for presidential pardons to give priority to the Justice Department's initiative to release low-level offenders from prison" ... or so former U.S. Pardon Attorney Deborah Leff wrote in her recent (January) letter of resignation.

Leff said she was "unable" to "carry out" her job "effectively" because the DOJ had not "fulfilled its commitment to provide the resources necessary for [her] office to make timely and thoughtful recommendations on clemency to the President."

She also noted that she had been "instructed" to "set aside thousands of petitions for pardon and traditional commutation" and was "deeply troubled" that she was denied "all access" to the Office of White House Counsel, even in relation to her "determinations" in an "increasing number of cases" where the Deputy Attorney General had reversed her recommendations.

Leffa argued that, "prior to making the serious and complex decisions underlying clemency" it is "important for the President to have a full set of views."

See Korte's report here.

See Leff's letter, in its entirety here.

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