Limit Presidential Pardons When Special Prosecutor Empowered

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A President, or his successor, should not be empowered to pardon anyone found complicit in actions brought and proven by an investigation led by a legally appointed Special Prosecutor, within the American Justice system.

President Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon 43 years ago generated a national controversy. In the months after the pardon back in 1974, most Americans didn’t approve of Ford’s move. In a Gallup poll taken 40 years ago, 53 percent of those polled disapproved of the pardon. 

Ford appeared in front of a House judiciary committee in October 1974 to explain the pardon.  He told Representative Elizabeth Holtzman “I was absolutely convinced then as I am now that if we had had this series in indictment, a trial, a conviction, and anything else that transpired after this that the attention of the President, the Congress and the American people would have been diverted from the problems that we have to solve. And that was the principle reason for my granting of the pardon,”  Ford's motivation was a 1915 Supreme Court decision, Burdick v. United States, which made Nixon accept his guilt in the Watergate controversy by also accepting the pardon.  The Court’s ruling in Burdick was that a pardon carried an "imputation of guilt" and accepting a pardon was "an admission of guilt.” 

But here we are 43 years later facing the same basic issue.  A candidate for the highest and most powerful office in the Country may have intentionally broken the law to serve their personal ego rather than to serve the American people.  

Pardons involving political misconduct within the highest office are not an ‘Ecclesiastes time,’” “a time for . . . reconciliation.  Pardons are “a selfish act” to enable the party in control “to get on with the business of their party and maintain power and to get to get the monkey off their back.   

There must be consequences to purposeful action to undermine the Constitution and the Office of President of the United States.  If not, your grand children will be here again, and again and again, when someone, and their team manipulate the system to their advantage to serve their personal egos and agenda and not the Citizens of the United States of America.



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