Thursday, November 27, 2008

You Cannot Pardon a Crime You Authorized

Submitted by davidswanson on Thu, 2008-11-27 03:51.

Criminal Prosecution

Statement from the Steering Committee for the Prosecution for War Crimes of President Bush and His Subordinates

Never before has a president pardoned himself or his subordinates for crimes he authorized. The closest thing to this in U.S. history thus far has been Bush's commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence. Bush is widely expected to follow that commutation with a pardon. Not only did Libby work for the White House, but he was convicted of obstruction of justice in an investigation that was headed to the president. Evidence introduced in the trial, including a hand-written note by the vice president, implicated Bush, and former press secretary Scott McClellan has since testified that Bush authorized the exposure of an undercover agent, that being the crime that was under investigation.
*If Bush attempts this, here are possible responses:

1. Immediate impeachment of Bush and Cheney and various pardonees, even if they are out of office. (Here are arguments for the permissibility of such impeachments: )

2. Overturning of the pardons by the new president or by Congress, as Bush's lawyers told him he could do to Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich, which was a far more minor abuse of the pardon power.

3. Legislation banning self-pardons and pardons of crimes authorized by the president.

4. A Constitutional Amendment banning self-pardons and pardons of crimes authorized by the president.

5. Refusal by the courts to honor the supposed pardons.

6. Prosecution of Bush, Cheney, and their subordinates for their crimes.

With thanks to all who have aided over the past millennia in the establishment of the rule of law.


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