As abuses of the pardon power go — “and they do go,” Andrew McCarthy admits that he can’t get “too whipped up over President Trump’s commutation of Roger Stone’s 40-month sentence for non-violent criminal obstruction of a bogusly based and ridiculously over-prosecuted investigation.”
Who Bill Clinton Pardoned
- (Clinton’s) own brother for felony distribution of cocaine. His brother was also a key witness in the Whitewater scandal for which he and Hillary Clinton were under investigation.
- And three others convicted in independent counsel Ken Starr’s probe.
- And Marc Rich, in what was a straight up political payoff.
- And his CIA director. And his HUD secretary. And eight people convicted in an investigation of his Agriculture Department.
Shameless as Clinton was, though, even he couldn’t bring himself to pardon Oscar Lopez Rivera, the defiantly unrepentant FALN leader, Andrew McCarthy reminds readers in NRO.
Instead, President Obama took care of Rivera.
Who Obama Pardoned
His former Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman, who’d been convicted of making false statements about a leak of classified information to the New York Times.
When he couldn’t get Congress to amend federal drug laws the way he wanted them amended, Obama used the pardon power to slash hundreds of sentences, under an executive initiative later sharply criticized by the Obama-appointed DOJ inspector general.
Obama also commuted the sentence of a U.S. soldier who passed top-secret information to WikiLeaks.
The check on abuses of the pardon power is political. If you are offended by Trump’s act of clemency on behalf of a longstanding ally of checkered character, go ahead and vote him out of office.
Just please spare us the righteous indignation if you’d be perfectly happy to have the Clintons or the Obama-Biden team back in power making the clemency calls.
For more from Mr. McCarthy on why the Stone episode has been farcical from the start, go here.
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