10.132.129.68

Subscribe to our mailing list

What Topic Matters Most To You?
View Privacy Policy

Why Clinton Was Not Among Obama’s 78 Pre-Christmas Pardons

President Obama pardoned a man who plead guilty to buying illegal tortoises, but not his former Secretary of State…

Obama and Clinton

The White House announced that President Obama granted 78 pardons and 153 commutations on Monday. With only 32 days in his term, the president still has time to pardon others and is widely expected to do so before leaving office on January 20.

Obama’s pardons covered a variety of federal crimes, “including drug dealing, bid rigging, illegal gambling, possession of untaxed alcohol and the illegal importation of tortoises.”

Not included in today’s list, however, were his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, or National Security Agent Edward Snowden. Both are considered to have risked national security by putting U.S. intelligence at risk, in Clinton’s case, and widely distributing it in Snowden’s.

Neither has applied for clemency, and according to USA Today, Obama is insisting all pardons must go through the application process.

So instead, Ralph Hoekstra of Huntington Beach, who was sentenced to probation and a $5,000 for illegally buying dwarf Indian star tortoises from a “reptile enthusiast Web site,” was granted a pardon, along with 77 others.

Obama’s “must apply” rule has been in effect for some time, which is why stories circulated after the election about Obama likely not granting Clinton a pardon:

Obama addressed “last-minute” presidential pardons at a news conference in August. “The process that I put in place is not going to vary depending on how close I get to the election,” he said in response to a question from USA TODAY. “So it’s going to be reviewed by the pardon attorney, it will be reviewed by my White House counsel, and I’m going to, as best as I can, make these decisions based on the merits, as opposed to political considerations.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed last week that Obama hasn’t changed that philosophy after the election. “I wouldn’t speculate at this point about what impact that may have on hypothetical pardon requests that he receives. I’ll just say that the guidance that President Obama shared with you is still operative.”