Thursday, December 15, 2016

U.S. Attorney General Doubles Down on Epic Fail

Speaking at a POLITICO Playbook breakfast event, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch doubled down on an erroneous talking point, made earlier, on the Rachel Maddow Show. Lynch said - without reference to any authority - that the granting of a pardon is “an individual decision that’s made on a case-by-case basis.” Consequently, “There’s no legal framework or regulatory framework that allows for a pardon of a group en masse,”

The statement was, of course, a preposterous blunder. Amnesties and group pardons are a great American tradition.

While her original blunder may have been potentially rationalized as the by-product of context (being tied to the reasonable conclusion that an amnesty, or group pardon, would not be appropriate for so-called "Dreamers," seeking citizenship), Attorney General Lynch, at the POLITICO gathering, went on to tie the erroneous commentary to the possibility of a "blanket clemency for drug offenders." Said Lynch:

We obviously have been doing a great deal of work on the president’s clemency initiative for several years now, and [I'm] very, very gratified [he] has taken the recommendation of the Department of Justice, although I will tell you he reviews every file himself. These are very individual decisions, ... When you’re talking about clemency, the same as with pardons, it’s a very individualized decision. I think it would be hard to craft a system for a blanket commutation of a class of people.
Apparently, no one challenged the observation, which explains so very, very much. Lynch's talk of "frameworks," "regulatory frameworks" and "systems" are clear indicators of a lack of information and/or inability to correctly articulate empirical reality. This does not bode well for thousands seeking justice and a DOJ highly skilled at saying "no." See POLITICO reporting here.

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