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Posts Tagged ‘Presidential pardons’

Will POTUS Joe Biden Reverse Trump’s Corrupt Pardons?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, January 25, 2021

WashingtonMonthly.com

Can Trump’s Pardons Be Reversed?

by Holly Brewer and Timothy Noah

President Ulysses S. Grant did it, and George W. Bush, and the Constitution would seem to encourage it.

January 22, 2021
2:07 PM

We’ve seen a lot of hand-wringing about President Donald Trump’s eleventh-hour marathon of glaringly unethical pardons, but only a little consideration (see 1-here, 2-here, 3-here, 4-here, and 5-here) about whether the Constitution permits them. A decent case can be made that it does not—and that at least some of these pardons can be reversed.

The relevant passage is Article II, Section 2, in the so-called “Commander-in-chief clause.” The president, it says, “shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” Nobody knows precisely what that means, but Trump has been under impeachment and awaiting Senate trial — for the second time — since January 13, 2021.

The most interesting real-life precedent for restricting a president’s right to issue pardons concerns President Andrew Johnson, who in March 1868 became the first of three presidents to be impeached by Congress, and two months later became the first to win Senate acquittal.

In March 1869, Johnson, on his last full day in office, pardoned Jacob and Moses Dupuy, who’d been convicted of defrauding the Internal Revenue Department, and Richard C. Enright, who’d been convicted of conspiracy to defraud the government. On assuming office, Johnson’s successor, President Ulysses Grant, reversed all three by calling back the U.S. marshals out delivering the pardons. A fourth pardon that Grant meant to reverse, to one James F. Martin, was permitted to stand because Martin had it already in hand, according to the late P.S. Ruckman, Jr., a political scientist at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois. Grant’s reversal of Moses Dupuy’s pardon was challenged in court and upheld on the technical grounds that Dupuy never received it. (Ruckman, an expert on presidential pardons, Read the rest of this entry »

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