One of Barack Obama’s last uses of his pen (you know, that one that’s a companion to his phone) could conceivably be to pardon his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.
But, you may be saying, she hasn’t been charged with a crime. Incredibly, she doesn’t have to have been for the president to issue a pardon. According to Samuel T. Morison, an attorney who specializes in pardons, the president has broad executive authority in this area:
The Constitution says the president can pardon ‘offenses’ against the U.S., not ‘convictions.’ The only constraint is that he can’t pardon someone in advance of committing the offense.
One unanswered question in the ongoing Clinton drama is whether Obama will pardon her. The question was White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest yesterday during the daily press briefing. Here is what he said (the transcript follows):