So I guess we’re seriously discussing a pardon for Hillary Clinton now

From:,  by Jazz Shaw,  on Nov 15, 2016


Lock her up!

How many times did you hear that during the endless campaign of 2016? I lost count long ago. With the President Elect not tipping his hand at this point as to whether or not there will actually be a special prosecutor looking into Hillary Clinton’s “situation” we have no guidance as to how we should proceed. But as long as the possibility exits, plenty of pundits are speculating on the possibility that Barack Obama might want to issue a full and complete pardon to Clinton before he leaves office. Not too long ago I would have scoffed at the idea, but in what has already been one of the strangest years in American politics on record I’m no longer quite so sure.

Andrew C. Mccarthy has a lengthy thought piece on the subject over at National Review this week. Even if he maintains the will to do it, could Trump actually pull this off? And if the signs point that way, what would be the fallout from Clinton receiving a pardon as a parting gift from the 44th president?

This is one of what will no doubt be many things that Mr. Trump will find were easier to say in the heat of the moment (a contentious debate between the candidates) than to do in his new political reality. During the campaign, nothing damaged Clinton as badly as the specter of criminal jeopardy. But now Trump has been elected, and he has a governing agenda that will require cooperation from Capitol Hill. A prosecution of Clinton would provoke Democratic outrage, which means media outrage, which, in turn, means Republican panic.

Much of the outrage is ill-considered — although that doesn’t stop some smart people from expressing it. The objection is that the United States is not, for example, Turkey, where the Islamist despot persecutes his political opposition. But the comparison is apples and oranges. Clinton would not be under investigation for opposing Trump; the probe would be based on evidence of non-trivial law-breaking that has nothing to do with Trump.

I’ve been mulling this one over for a couple of days and it seems to me that it’s a double edged sword for both the Republicans and the Democrats. Right up front I absolutely agree with Andrew’s statement in the linked article that, there is significant evidence of felony law violations. (And he explains the details very well.) If we look at this from an unbiased, law and order perspective, you can certainly make the argument that a full investigation is called for and a trial if the results indicate such is required. This is essentially the argument in favor of going after her. But this is one of those cases where you simply can’t extract the politics from the equation.

Arguments against pursuing such a course of action seem to be centered on the political fallout and potential blow back from Democrats in Congress and among their rank and file voters. That’s probably overstated. It’s not as if the Democrats are lining up to “work with the new President” in any meaningful way and most of Hillary’s voters weren’t going to be helping us out in the midterms anyway. But it could certainly build on the perception of Trump as a bully who is seeking to punish his enemies via the power of his office and that might turn off some of the voters in the middle.

Even if you’re a fan of pursuing further investigations against Clinton because you’d really like to see her be held accountable, how much satisfaction would you really derive from a conviction? At this point it almost seems as if she’s being punished more thoroughly than any judge could manage. Hillary has essentially become the villain in a Larry Bond novel who works on her evil plot for decades and is within moments of detonating a tactical weapon on the National Mall when some geek comes along at the last second, clips the correct wire on the device and notifies the authorities to come haul her away. She’s serving a four year sentence in a prison named Anywhere But The White House.

What the Democrats need to consider is something different. What if Obama actually did issue a pardon? Yes, Clinton would be permanently off the hook and put all of that unpleasantness behind her, but she would also immediately be forever branded as the almost President who was so crooked she needed to be pardoned. Her name would appear in every political trivia book immediately below that of Richard Nixon. Given how focused she has been on cementing her piece of immortality, I’m not sure she’d even accept a pardon if Obama called her up to ask. The humiliation might be too much for that ego.

In the end, I think Trump’s best play is to forget about a special prosecutor and simply allow the FBI to continue whatever investigations they currently may have going into the Clinton Global Initiative, Huma Abedin or anything else they’ve got on the stove. (After, of course, appointing an Attorney General who makes it crystal clear to the FBI that they will have the full backing of the Justice Department and the White House if they decide to move forward.) That keeps Trump’s fingerprints largely off of it and lets the rule of law run its course. And if his own Justice Department can’t come up with a winnable case then a special prosecutor probably wouldn’t have helped anyway.


This is a good article by Jazz Shaw. He brings out the pros and cons of prosecution vs. pardon from a political perspective. I can understand how a pardon would taint Hillary’s career as a “public servant” forever and how she might not want to be in the company of Richard Nixon in that respect, but that would protect Obama from being exposed as a co-conspirator in so many of her criminal acts. 

Personally, I would get no satisfaction from a pardon, even knowing that Hillary would forever be emblazoned with a scarlet “P” on her forehead. She deserves more. More, as in a prison sentence.

Nothing would please me more than to see Hillary behind bars. And I believe that nothing would reinforce the concept that “no one is above the law” more effectively than to see Hillary in prison. But alas, I’m afraid that Obama can’t take the chance of a prosecution by Trump’s Justice Department disclosing his participation in Benghazi and its cover-up, among other things, so I’m afraid he’ll have no other option except to pardon her.

I guess that would round out her three decades of lies, deceits, and a multitude of felonious acts, and in the end, never facing prosecution.

Probably something of a record for a criminal “public servant.”




Categories: Political

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9 replies

  1. Don’t they first have to pursue charges before she needs a pardon? We have yet to see if that happens, and there’s no way O’s admin will pursue it and with Trump already softening on her, it’s not going to happen with him either.

    The loss of this election, that she thought was in the bag, was enough to knock all the wind out of her sails, so in her mind she’s been punished more than she ever thought possible or should have been. She now knows she will never be the president because she’s run out of both time and health. Trump, Hillary and O all know she is a relic – a dried up hateful and bitter old woman who can no longer make deals or control foreign countries and their money.

    However….if our justice system wasn’t so politicized and worked like it was intended, she would already be in jail, or at the very least, she would have been ineligible to run for (any) office. My guess is that O stuffs this on the back burner until he’s gone and when Trump takes office he’ll tell the US that we need to move on to more important things. In the meantime, Hillary walks her dog on the beach and cusses the American people under her breath.


    • I’ve seen differing opinions on that Kathy. Apparently, a pardon doesn’t have to specify a crime or crimes for which one is being pardoned. The pardon can merely state that the pardon is for illegal activities related to something (Benghazi, the email scandal, etc.). At least, that’s my understanding.

      I will say that now that we know how badly losing the election hurt her to her core (she has no soul), it would make it more acceptable that she doesn’t serve any time as long as I know that she’ll feel that loss to Donald Trump as a personal catastrophe for the rest of her life.

      But, I’d still feel more satisfaction to see her go to prison along with her posse.


    • The answer is no. A President can issue a blanket pardon for all federal offenses. That’s exactly what Ford did for Nixon, who hadn’t been indicted for anything.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting post, Garnet!

    Trump’s dilemma is owed in part to his own big mouth and inability to control his oral impulses. If he backtracks on the special prosecutor promise, which he already seems to be doing, he looks as if his indignation over HRC’s crimes was insincere and purely gratuitous. Would anyone surprised by that?

    I don’t think politics should play any more part in this. If there’s sufficient evidence of a crime, prosecute her like anyone else, and if anyone suggests to Trump that he put Hillary in jail he need only say that she put herself in jail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, I’ve heard whispers that he has become squishy on pursuing prosecution. We’ll have to wait and see how that plays out. It will be a major disappointment to Trump’s army if he declines to prosecute her – akin to backing away from building a wall.


  3. Even if she, and Bill, are convicted, it would behoove President Trump to pardon them before the septuagenarians ever saw a prison bar for their crime, other than in a holding tank.

    This would demonstrate that it was NOT a political prosecution, but a Rule of Law one.

    Also, no such pardons should be made available for Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner, Cheryl Mills, Lois Lerner, etc., ad nauseum. They all need to be made an example of, as do the bureaucrats the abused their delegated power.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Firstly, I’ll agree that no pardons be forthcoming for Hillary’s inner circle. let them serve time. But the options as they relate to Hillary are where it gets dicey.

      1. There may be no action by either president Obama or later, by President Trump and assuming that nothing comes out of current ongoing investigations, Hillary gets off free (except that she still lost the election).

      2. President Obama may pardon her and she’ll have to live with the stain of being a pardoned (assumed felon) as well as the loser of the 2016 Presidential Election.

      3. President Trump may direct (or encourage) the DOJ to reopen various investigations and follow them to the bitter end, in which case, she may go to prison. That would fulfill his promise to supporters, but he could still pardon her after she is judged to be guilty and before she is incarcerated.

      4. And of course, there is the possibility of President Trump pardoning her immediately before any pursuing any more investigations.

      I think that I’d put a small bet on Obama pardoning her just to protect himself.


    • I disagree strongly. Not only should there be no pardon for the Hildebeest, but to pardon her but NOT the ones under her would be a grotesque miscarriage of justice, and would further reinforce the perception that there are two brands of justice, one for the plebes and another for the popes.


      • Personally, I believe that the co-conspirators should swing together. All pardoned (which I don’t like) or all go to prison (my preference). My previous comment was directed to the options available to Obama and Trump and the fallout from their decision.

        Liked by 1 person

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