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June 22, 2016

Here's How Barack Obama Could Nullify An Indictment of Hillary Clinton

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The country is waiting to see if the FBI will recommend indicting Hillary Clinton on charges related to her sending of classified information through her personal email server, which likely put the nation’s security at risk.

Most of the public discussion about what happens if the FBI recommends an indictment has focused on whether Attorney General Loretta Lynch would give Justice Department prosecutors the clearance to go to a grand jury.

But there’s a good chance Lynch would be rescued from making that decision—by a presidential pardon from Barack Obama.

Could Obama pardon Clinton before she’s even charged with a crime? Absolutely.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Ex Parte Garland (1866) that a presidential pardon “may be exercised at any time after its [the alleged crime’s] commission, either before legal proceedings are taken, or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment.”

And it’s been done several times. President Gerald Ford, for example, pardoned Richard Nixon after he resigned from the Oval Office in the midst of the Watergate scandal, even though Nixon had not yet been charged with a crime.

Obama has publicly said he doesn’t think Clinton did anything to jeopardize national security—though I suspect privately he knows good and well that she did. But he has to protect the Democrats’ candidate for the White House.

And since Obama won’t be running for office again and has little to lose, it would make perfect sense for him to issue her a pardon, reconfirming that he doesn’t think she intended to do anything wrong and that a trial during a presidential campaign would be a divisive distraction for the country.

Plus, Obama could say that if the voters disagree, they could show their displeasure by not voting for her. Since Clinton seems to be the mainstream media’s candidate, they would gloss over the action and agree it was the right thing to do.

And if Democrats take back the Senate, a President Clinton could then demonstrate her gratitude by nominating Obama to fill the next vacant seat on the Supreme Court—just as our twenty-seventh president, William Howard Taft, eventually became the tenth chief justice.

It’s a nightmare scenario, and it just might happen.


 

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