President Obama should pre-emptively pardon Hillary Clinton and inoculate her from a spiteful prosecution by the Trump Administration.
PRESIDENT Obama should pre-emptively pardon Hillary Clinton to protect her and the United States from a vindictive, showboat prosecution by the incoming Trump administration.
President-elect Trump should also take the high road and explicitly say he won’t prosecute Clinton over her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
It’s shocking that this is a concern, but Trump threatened as much in the candidates’ last debate. On “60 Minutes” Sunday, he said he is still thinking about the issue.
The danger to America is not Clinton’s freedom but in having a presidency that even threatens to use its power for vendettas and jailing opponents.
Most Read Opinion Stories
- China official: Trade war puts Boeing and U.S. economy at risk | Op-Ed
- United to save salmon and orcas | Op-Ed
- Inspired by MLK, Womxn's March honors a new chapter for America | Op-Ed
- Are we truly one paycheck from disaster? | Froma Harrop / Syndicated columnist
- Marching toward a massacre | Nicholas D. Kristof / Syndicated columnist
Trump was elected by people who thought he would make America better, not worse. A president punishing a political challenger as if this were a two-bit dictatorship would make the country much, much worse.
Clinton’s use of a personal email system for sensitive business while secretary of state showed poor judgment and probably cost her the presidency. But it was not an offense worthy of prosecution or jail.
As we’re all painfully aware at this point, the FBI repeatedly went through Clinton’s email trove and found nothing that warranted criminal charges.
In a July decision that was reiterated on Nov. 6, Republican FBI Director James Comey said, “Our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case” and “no charges are appropriate in this case.”
That should help Trump decide whether to appoint his snarling pit bull Rudy Giuliani to serve as attorney general.
Giuliani last week hinted that prosecuting Clinton is a possibility, accused her and Obama of corruption and equated the situation with Watergate. That places him squarely in the FBI director’s category of “unreasonable.”
Bloviators opposed to a Clinton pardon should compare the severity of her using a poor email system with actual harm done by officials who were indicted for serious crimes in years past, yet pardoned by outgoing Republican presidents.
Consider Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the White House aide sentenced for perjury and obstruction of justice related to the dangerous leak of a CIA operative’s identity. His sentence was commuted by outgoing President George W. Bush.
Libby was dreadful, but not as bad as the Iran-Contra gang in the Reagan administration (in which Giuliani worked in the Department of Justice). They defied Congress and broke an arms embargo by secretly selling weapons to Iran and using proceeds to arm Nicaraguan rebels. That was first-class corruption and dirty dealing — yet they were pardoned by outgoing President George H.W. Bush.
Clinton fumbled with email and paid a heavy price, but she doesn’t deserve prosecution. Inoculate her with a pre-emptive pardon, and protect the country from having to endure such spiteful, dangerous and distracting antics.