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Trump Can Lift Presidency, Nation by Pardoning Hillary

Trump Can Lift Presidency, Nation by Pardoning Hillary
Hillary Rodham Clinton signs copies of her book "What Happened" at a New York book store, on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (Seth Wenig/AP)

By Thursday, 02 November 2017 12:28 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Pardon me, Mr. President, but for the good of the country, it's time.

It's time to pardon Hillary Clinton. 

The right will be massively opposed, because it doesn’t want to see its biggest fundraising tool vanish. Proof? A staggeringly large number of Republicans are still obsessing about Mrs. Clinton — and President Obama — despite both being yesterday's news for a year, and the GOP controlling Washington. 

Many on the left would not welcome a pardon either, because their arch-nemesis would be the one bestowing compassion (some would say a political favor) on their beloved hero.

Hardliners might even prefer Hillary being "railroaded" rather than seeing their movement beholden to Mr. Trump.  Others will affix political motivations, believing that a proactive pardon would make Clinton a criminal without her ever being charged.

Given that a pardon would be met with gasps from both sides, that must mean it’s the right thing to do.

Many readers will be shocked that I'm advocating a pardon, since I've rarely agreed with Mrs. Clinton on the issues. I've also taken issue with how she has conducted herself.

But this has nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with the bigger picture of the greater good. If we — especially conservatives whose very existence is to conserve that greater good — don’t seriously consider such things, then we’ll never break the vicious cycle of ultra-partisanship that has been eating away at our nation.

Let’s look at why pardoning Hillary makes sense, especially given that several Republican congressmen are calling for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate her:

The Practical

First. Given our hyper-partisan atmosphere, it would be virtually impossible to find an impartial jury.

Second. While Clinton clearly mishandled classified information as Secretary of State, convicting her of those violations is not the slam dunk some Republicans believe. Additionally, the time and money expended would not merit the potentially insignificant penalty Clinton could incur.

Let’s not forget that the case has already been investigated by the FBI.

Yes, former FBI Director James B. Comey made an unforgivable mistake by bowing to political pressure in announcing that the FBI was not recommending charges against Mrs. Clinton. This is not the bureau’s job. The FBI’s role is to investigate, period.

In overstepping his bounds, Comey should have been fired (which this column has advocated). But, Comey’s misconduct notwithstanding, that doesn’t mean that the FBI’s investigation was compromised.

Regarding possible pay-to-play with the Clinton Foundation, two words — forget it.  Take it from someone who knows firsthand how hard it is to successfully investigate, let alone prove, pay-to-play, even when overwhelming evidence is uncovered.

It's hard enough to prove at the state and federal levels, but nearly impossible when the scope becomes international. Many Clinton Foundation donors are foreign nationals, diplomats, and governments. None of them has any motivation to talk with FBI agents possessing zero enforcement power.

Investigating the Clinton Foundation jigsaw puzzle, where admittedly many transactions do not pass the "sniff test," is nonetheless not worth the effort. Hillary is not president, the Clintons are no longer in power (thus eliminating any future pay-to-play overtures), and the world’s spotlight is still shining on the Foundation — the best antidote for preventing illegal activity.

The other Clinton-is-guilty theories, such as campaign collusion with Russia, and the Uranium One deal, are substantially lacking in evidence and accuracy. That said, a Clinton pardon does not preclude investigations into those entities, should facts warrant them.

The Political

Keeping Hillary around is a boon for GOP fundraising heading into an election year, but accomplishes nothing on policy agenda.

It would behoove Mr. Trump to end that clamoring by issuing a pardon. In sparing the country the non-stop bickering that would accompany the appointment of a special prosecutor, President Trump would engender goodwill from the great American middle, and his credibility would rise. That, in turn, would pave the way for bipartisan enactment of policies, ones moving  the country forward — from healthcare and tax reform, to dealing with North Korea.

Americans elected an outsider to fix what was broken and improve America’s standing. As such, it is far more productive to have policy debates rather than drag a weary nation through another endless round of partisan "who-struck-John" fights.

If pardoning a politician past her prime allows Washington, D.C. to work more closely together, then nothing could be more presidential.

The Precedent

No one in America should be above the law. Accountability for all, and not just some, is what separates us from banana republics.

That is why advocating a pardon is not easy.  There is merit in stating that if Hillary broke the law, she should be prosecuted, just as anyone else. It shouldn't matter that she was a presidential candidate, First Lady, senator, or secretary of state. Being part of the political elite does not entitle one to disregard the law, nor should it shield her from prosecution.

But that’s not what pardoning Hillary would be.

A pardon would not be for Hillary, but for the greater good of the nation. Fair or not, many will perceive it as a witch hunt and refuse to accept the outcome. That would be extremely dangerous. When Americans do not accept decisions of jurors and judges, our adherence to the rule of law takes an appreciably significant hit.

Pardoning Hillary is not the perfect option, but our justice system, while the best in the world, isn’t perfect.  Celebrities sometimes receive harsher-than-normal sentences, but had they been ordinary citizens, many of their cases would never have seen the light of day.

What of criminals who walk free after making an immunity deals? And what of convicts who have their sentences reduced because of prison overpopulation?  

Let’s not forget that presidential pardons aren’t new. Every president employs that power, with thousands having had their slates wiped clean over the years.

Life isn’t always fair. Richard Nixon, in an incredibly selfless act, allowed the criminals who stole the 1960 election from him (due to voter fraud in Chicago and Texas) to go uninvestigated, and thus, unpunished. Nixon realized that dragging the nation through a contested election would do more harm than good. He walked away the bigger man.

Likewise, President Gerald Ford, knowing his re-election would be irreparably damaged if he pardoned Nixon, nonetheless did the right thing, sparing the nation the spectacle of a president on trial.

So pardon me for being presumptuous, Mr. President, but the best way for you to turn around your ailing presidency is to make Hillary Clinton an offer she can’t refuse.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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So pardon me for being presumptuous, Mr. President, but the best way for you to turn around your ailing presidency is to make Hillary Clinton an offer for the good of the country. It's time.
comey, ford, gop, nixon
Thursday, 02 November 2017 12:28 PM
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