Pelosi Calls for Law Restricting Presidential Pardons After Trump Commutes Roger Stone’s Sentence
By Staff, Agencies
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been accused of harboring misinformed and constitutionally dubious opinions, after arguing that US President Donald Trump’s commutation of Roger Stone is proof that presidential pardon powers need to be reined in.
Stone, a former aide to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, faced more than three years behind bars for obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and making false statements to Congress. The political operative’s sentence was commuted by Trump just as he was preparing to report to prison.
Pelosi used the occasion to rehash the long-debunked conspiracy theory that Trump’s campaign had colluded with Russia. Relatively, Democratic lawmakers and liberal media outlets continue to insist that Stone was part of a shadowy Kremlin plot to install Trump in the White House – even though an investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller failed to find evidence that supports this theory.
“For the president to be able to issue a pardon on the basis of a crime that the person committed assisting the president is ridiculous, and there ought to be a law,” Pelosi told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “I’m recommending that we pass a law that presidents cannot issue a pardon if the crime that the person is in jail for is one that is caused by protecting the president, which this was. It’s appalling.”
Her modest proposal seems to be at odds with some inconvenient realities, however. For starters, Stone was not pardoned – a basic fact which prompted some on social media to speculate about Pelosi’s mental firmness.
The scheme to restrict pardon powers would also need to overcome a rather serious legal hurdle: the presidential power to pardon is enshrined in Article 2 in the Constitution. In other words: a simple law probably wouldn’t do the job. Pelosi would likely need to amend the Constitution.
Even Pelosi’s supporters seemed peeved, describing her suggestion as “unconstitutional,” and urging her to launch new impeachment proceedings if she really felt like Trump had abused his executive powers.
Russiagate disciples have obsessed over Stone’s sentence, even as the “collusion” narrative painted by the media continues to unravel.
General Micahel Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser and the first Russiagate casualty, has been all but exonerated. The Justice Department has called for all charges against the general to be dropped after it was revealed that the FBI mishandled his case.