Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:52 AM

If Hillary Is Indicted, President Clinton Could Pardon Herself and Congress Might be Helpless

On Friday, just days before the election, reports are emerging that the FBI has re-opened the Hillary Clinton email investigation. “The FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation,” a letter from FBI Director James Comey reads. And while Comey didn’t indicate how long the investigation could take, it’s pretty safe to bet investigators won’t come to any kind of decision before November 8th. It may even take months for the FBI to wrap up round two of this. So what happens if Clinton is elected, takes office, and then finds her self under indictment? It might not be likely, but it is worth exploring the legal possibilities.

It is Friday, January 20, 2017 and Hillary Clinton has just been sworn in as the 45th President of the United States after narrowly defeating Donald Trump in November. Republicans managed to hold both the House of Representatives and the Senate. A few weeks after winning the election, however, the Department of Justice handed down a multi-count indictment against Clinton over her handling of classified information and her involvement in an alleged pay for play scandal with the Clinton Foundation during her time as Secretary of State. It is a scenario that several of our commentators, and twitter followers have asked us to analyze.

As I am sure you can imagine, such a situation would cause a political firestorm of epic proportions. But before dismissing this scenario as some sort of wild fantasy, be reminded that we are talking about the Clintons who are no strangers to bizarre scandals (bringing nearly all of them upon themselves). In fact, a delayed announcement would be similar to what happened with David Petraeus in 2012 when DOJ sat on announcing that investigation until three days after the election.

Now, back to January 20, 2017. Could a future President Hillary Clinton pardon herself?

The short answer is she could certainly try, and may very well get away with it. What’s more, there is likely little Congress could do about it — even with a Republican controlled House of Representatives and Senate. Here is why.

The president’s pardon power comes from Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution that provides, “The President … shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

Based on the language of Article II, Section 2, the only limits placed on the power are that pardons may only be issued for federal offenses (not civil or state crimes), and a pardon cannot override the Congress’ impeachment power. Presidents have used this power to issue pardons in a wide range of matters throughout the country’s history. However, no president has ever attempted to pardon himself.

As a result, the legality of the self-pardon remains an open question. There are persuasive arguments on both sides. For the sake of brevity, the two arguments can be boiled down to this: (1) those that argue a self-pardon violates longstanding legal principals that a person should not act as their own judge and that no person is above the law; and (2) those, including Richard Nixon’s attorneys in the aftermath of Watergate, that argue that power to pardon is broad and unlimited, except for the two specific limitations mentioned in the Constitution.

So, assuming Clinton follows the latter approach and issues the self-pardon, where does that leave Congress? Could the House of Representatives start impeachment proceedings based on the criminal indictments?

That answer to that question is a resounding “no.”


Remember the Hissy the media threw over this?

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Reply If Hillary Is Indicted, President Clinton Could Pardon Herself and Congress Might be Helpless (Original post)
Gunslinger201 Jun 2018 OP
Horsefeathers Jun 2018 #1
Gunslinger201 Jun 2018 #2
Fiendish Thingy-BC Jun 2018 #3

Response to Gunslinger201 (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:55 AM

1. Memories!

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Response to Horsefeathers (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:58 AM

2. The Press is embarrassing themselves at this point

I love it

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Response to Gunslinger201 (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 09:41 AM

3. I missed the part where HRC claimed the president could pardon themselves

However, this Flawed analysis on some obscure blog was rightfully ignored by the MSM.

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