Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Politico on Bizarro Pardon Hypothetical

At Politico, Josh Gerstein reminds us that President Obama:
... has the authority to foreclose that possibility by pardoning Clinton for any federal offenses she may have committed or could ever be prosecuted for. And he could do it whether she asks or not.
Of course, coming up with a reason why on earth he would do such a thing is ... quite difficult. Gerstein says an unnamed source thinks,“What he’s going to do with this power in the next two months is really a good question.” But that is hardly helpful.

Indeed, Gerstein seems to recognize that such a pardon
"... is fraught with danger to Obama’s reputation and to hers, as any move to protect the failed Democratic presidential nominee would surely trigger charges of unfairness and political favoritism, while seeming to some to be an admission of guilt."
Not to mention completely unnecessary. Clinton has not been convicted - or even charged with anything. Gerstein is not particularly clear what he thinks Obama would pardon her for (the emails?the Clinton Foundation? Weinergate? What?). To top it off, Gerstein cannot seem to find a single person in the Trump camp who has a special prosecutor burning brightly in their mind.

So, why the bother with the bizarro hypothetical at all? Gerstein says a pardon "would offer the only foolproof way to head off such a prosecution" and Clinton's window to clemency "closes on Jan. 20." How entirely unimaginative. Maybe Trump has her prosecuted, then pardons her to appear merciful and kind! See shocking headline "story" here.

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