Pat Caddell: Hillary Clinton Must Answer Whether She Will Pardon Herself or Accept a Pardon from Obama on Email Scandal

Hillary Clinton
AP/Matt Rourke

Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell told Breitbart News Saturday radio host Matthew Boyle that the controversies surrounding Hillary R. Clinton, just rebooted by the FBI, will not go away after the Nov. 8 election–especially if she wins the White House.

If the campaign between Clinton and her Republican rival Donald J. Trump was fought on the issues, Trump would win and the next big question would be how to handle criminal charges against the former first lady, he said.

“Somebody has got to ask her: If she is elected will she appoint a special prosecutor, nominated by an impartial panel of judges? Will she guarantee the American people she will not pardon herself?” he said.

Boyle jumped in to add: “Also, I think, President Obama has to be asked if he’ll pardon her.”

“I am shocked nobody has mentioned it,” Caddell said.

“One thing we do know, this is not going away,” he added.

“Immediately, she is going to be consumed into this kind of scandal–is that what the American people want the presidency to be come the next term?” he asked Boyle and the listeners. Breitbart News Saturday is heard on SiriusXM The Patriot Channel 125.

Boyle said to Caddell that during the 1998 impeachment crisis, President William J. “Bill” Clinton, the husband of the 2016 Democratic nominee, promised that he would not give himself a pardon.

It was an issue that Slate addressed at the time with the help of a team of law professors and the Congressional Research Service:

The simplest interpretation is that the president can pardon any federal criminal offense, including his own, but cannot pardon an impeachment. In other words, Clinton is free to immunize himself from criminal prosecution, but has no power over Congress.

A competing interpretation is that the power to pardon “except in cases of impeachment” means the president cannot pardon someone who’s been impeached, or at least cannot pardon the offenses which led to an impeachment. This interpretation not only prohibits Clinton from self-pardoning, it also prohibits a future president (e.g. Al Gore) from pardoning Clinton.

The article points out that while the president is powerless to pardon an individual impeached and convicted, if President Clinton pardoned himself for other crimes, it would be up to the courts to decide whether to accept the pardon as valid or not.

Another consideration is whether an individual must accept a pardon or not. This became an issue when President Gerald R. Ford issued a pardon to his immediate predecessor Richard M. Nixon for crimes that may or may not have been committed during his tenure.

Nixon was never impeached by the House, so his case was never adjudicated by the Senate. Thus, as it stood unresolved, Ford wanted to immunize Nixon for his return to private life, and his staff convinced him that Nixon had to formally accept it, which he did.

According to a commentary for the University of Virginia’s Miller Center on the circumstances of the Nixon pardon: “Nixon was reluctant to accept the pardon because it implied guilt but his friends and advisers warned him that any legal battle would be protracted and expensive and it would be very hard to find an impartial jury or receive a fair trial.”

Caddell said the Watergate break-in, along with other scandals, were already in the news in 1972, but they had not reached critical mass until after the election.

“In 1972, when Nixon won a landslide. more than anything Reagan ever won, I was on the receiving end of that with McGovern,” said Caddell, the pollster for Sen. George McGovern (D.-S.D), the challenger to Nixon.

“Afterwards, the bottom dropped out on Watergate, the entire second Nixon administration became a question of whether he was going to be impeached or not,” he said.

The American people need to wrestle with the fact that even if Clinton is elected president, she will still have to address the email scandals and all the others that are surrounding it, such as the Clinton Foundation and the things revealed in WikiLeaks, Caddell said.

Caddell said President Barack Obama has been central to so many scandals himself.

“He has lied about everything,” he said. “This is a man who has presided over the Justice Department, the IRS investigation, who says: ‘Oh, I’m going to get to the bottom of it’ and then, ‘Oh, there’s nothing there.'”

The president has abused his executive authority in ways Nixon only wished he could use, Caddell said.

Comparing the media’s treatment of Obama and the Clintons with the way the media treated Nixon, the pollster and political consultant said it was night and day.

The same media outlets that hounded Nixon out of office are now laying down for Obama and the Clintons, he said.

Caddell said in both the national and state Breitbart/Gravis polls, voters are asked if the media is biased.

Overwhelmingly, the public sees the the bias, especially in favor of Clinton over Trump, he said. “Ten-to-one in our national poll–they’re not stupid, the American people.”

An0ther poll question asked if the media’s bias is a threat to the public’s right to know and to American democracy–or is the media acting normally and their behavior is not a threat? “Again, we are dealing with a solid majority of Americans, including Hillary Clinton supporters admit it,” said Caddell.


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