Trump Issues Full Pardons To Oregon Ranchers, Dwight and Steven Hammond, Forced Back Into Prison Under Anti-Terror Law
( Daily Caller ) President Donald Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers forced back into prison in 2016 to serve out the rest of the mandatory minimum sentence required under an anti-terrorism law.
“The Hammonds are multi-generation cattle ranchers in Oregon imprisoned in connection with a fire that leaked onto a small portion of neighboring public grazing land,” the White House said in a statement. “The evidence at trial regarding the Hammonds’ responsibility for the fire was conflicting, and the jury acquitted them on most of the charges.
Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted of committing arson on federal land in 2012 under an anti-terrorism law from 1996. The U.S. District Court judge who sentenced the ranchers believed the mandatory minimum sentence was too harsh, thus both men served short stints in prison.
The Hammonds served their time, but federal prosecutors appealed the case and got a federal court to overturn the 2012 judgement. The Hammonds were forced back into prison in 2016 to serve the rest of their sentences.
The Hammonds’ re-incarceration sparked an armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon by brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy. An armed standoff between the Bundys and law enforcement lasted
Protect the Harvest (PTH), agriculture advocacy group, has been lobbying the Trump administration to commute the Hammonds’ sentences, arguing forcing them back into prison was unjust.
‘I know it was a miracle God touched Kim Kardashian’s heart’: Alice Johnson speaks after being freed from prison and thanks Trump for his ‘mercy’ as the president wishes her a ‘wonderful life’ on Twitter
- Alice Johnson was freed from federal prison on Wednesday, after having her life drug sentence commuted by President Trump
- The 63-year-old grandmother said it was a ‘miracle’ that Kim Kardashian West was ‘touched’ by her story enough to petition the president for a pardon
- Johnson said she took life for granted before and she will never do that again
- She beamed as she sat next to her daughter in interviews with GMA and the Today show, finally reunited after 22 years behind bars
- Trump also tweeted: ‘Good luck to Alice Johnson. Have a wonderful life!’
Read more: ‘I know it was a miracle God touched Kim Kardashian’s heart’: Alice Johnson speaks after being freed from prison and thanks Trump for his ‘mercy’ as the president wishes her a ‘wonderful life’ on Twitter
- So, assuming Clinton issues the self-pardon, where does that leave Congress? Could the House of Representatives start impeachment proceedings based on the criminal indictments?
- That answer to that question is a resounding “no.”
- Under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, “The President… shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Law and Crime by Chris White | 2:01 pm, October 28th, 2016
Could a future President Hillary Clinton pardon herself? The short answer is she could certainly try, and may very well get away with it. What’s more, there is likely little Congress could do about it — even with a Republican controlled House of Representatives and Senate. Here is why.
The president’s pardon power comes from Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution that provides, “The President … shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”
Based on the language of Article II, Section 2, the only limits placed on the power are that pardons may only be issued for federal offenses (not civil or state crimes), and a pardon cannot override the Congress’ impeachment power. Presidents have used this power to issue pardons in a wide range of matters throughout the country’s history. However, no president has ever attempted to pardon himself.
As a result, the legality of the self-pardon remains an open question. There are persuasive arguments on both sides. For the sake of brevity, the two arguments can be boiled down to this: (1) those that argue a self-pardon violates longstanding legal principals that a person should not act as their own judge and that no person is above the law; and (2) those, including Richard Nixon’s attorneys in the aftermath of Watergate, that argue that power to pardon is broad and unlimited, except for the two specific limitations mentioned in the Constitution.
So, assuming Clinton follows the latter approach and issues the self-pardon, where does that leave Congress? Could the House of Representatives start impeachment proceedings based on the criminal indictments?
That answer to that question is a resounding “no.”
Under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, “The President… shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
( Washington Examiner ) A member of President Trump’s legal team reportedly discussed the prospect of the president pardoning former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort with their respective lawyers last year.
The New York Times reported that John Dowd, the lawyer, raised the idea of pardons for the two former Trump advisers.
Dowd, who took over as Trump’s personal lawyer last summer, had a conversation with Flynn’s lawyer, Robert K. Kelner, after he assumed his post. When the discussion was occurring, a federal grand jury was hearing evidence involving multiple potential crimes against Flynn.
Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI about his contacts with the former Russian ambassador to the U.S.
Dowd reportedly told Flynn’s lawyer the president believed the case against the former national security adviser wasn’t strong, and Trump was looking into pardoning him.
Trump’s personal lawyer also talked about a pardon with Manafort’s lawyer, Reginald J. Brown.
Manafort, too, was indicted by a federal grand jury in October on numerous charges, including money laundering.
Dowd resigned from Trump’s legal team last week.
- Trump invoked former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier case repeatedly on the campaign trail, saying he was “ruined” for doing “nothing” compared to Hillary Clinton.
( Washington Examiner ) President Trump issued the second pardon of his presidency Friday to former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier, who learned the news while driving a garbage truck, the only job he could find with a felony conviction.
Saucier was sentenced to a year in prison during the 2016 campaign for taking pictures inside a nuclear submarine. Trump invoked his case repeatedly on the campaign trail, saying he was “ruined” for doing “nothing” compared to Hillary Clinton.
Still, Trump allowed Saucier to serve his full prison sentence. He was released in September and returned to the Vermont home he shares with his wife Sadie and their two-year-old daughter.
Saucier, now 31, was 22 years old when he took the cellphone photos in 2009. He pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized retention of national defense information and his attorneys unsuccessfully requested the “Clinton deal,” meaning little if any punishment.
The six photos found on a cellphone Saucier discarded were deemed “confidential,” the lowest level of classification, even though some depicted the vessel’s nuclear reactor. Clinton, by contrast, sent and received more highly classified information on a private email server. In pleading guilty, Saucier admitted to destroying evidence after being questioned.
Saucier told the Washington Examiner earlier this year that a felony conviction made it hard to find work. He works as a garbage man to support his family. While in prison, the family’s cars were repossessed and his home is in foreclosure.
D.C. swamp Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking to block any presidential pardons of his family and staff in the continued Russian witch hunt.
Bloomberg reported this on Tuesday.
Mueller’s all-star team of prosecutors, with expertise in money laundering and foreign bribery, has an answer to that. He’s Michael Dreeben, a bookish career government lawyer with more than 100 Supreme Court appearances under his belt.
Acting as Mueller’s top legal counsel, Dreeben has been researching past pardons and determining what, if any, limits exist, according to a person familiar with the matter. Dreeben’s broader brief is to make sure the special counsel’s prosecutorial moves are legally airtight. That could include anything from strategizing on novel interpretations of criminal law to making sure the recent search warrant on ex-campaign adviser Paul Manafort’s home would stand up to an appeal.
“He’s seen every criminal case of any consequence in the last 20 years,” said Kathryn Ruemmler of Latham & Watkins LLP, who served as White House counsel under President Barack Obama. “If you wanted to do a no-knock warrant, he’d be a great guy to consult with to determine if you were exposing yourself.”
President Trump has pardoned former Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff Joe Arpaio, the White House announced Friday night.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had said earlier this week that Trump would make an announcement on Arpaio at an “appropriate time.”
Trump had hinted at a rally in Phoenix on Tuesday that he was preparing to pardon the controversial former sheriff who was convicted of criminal contempt.
Arpaio was convicted July 31 of criminal contempt by a federal judge for disobeying a federal order on detaining individuals suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.