With shouts of “lock her up” at Trump rallies, followed by gracious praise of Hillary Clinton by Donald Trump in his late-night victory speech, one can be forgiven if “mixed message” comes to mind. But should Clinton get away scot free for what’s obviously an egregious transgression of the law.
President Obama has clearly not ruled out a last-minute pardon for Clinton.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Mr. Obama is hopeful that Mr. Trump will follow long-standing tradition of not punishing political opponents through the criminal-justice system. He said all clemency actions go through a formal process, and that will remain in place until the end of Mr. Obama’s presidency in January.
“The president has offered clemency to a substantial number of Americans who were previously serving time in federal prisons,” Mr. Earnest said. “We didn’t talk in advance about those decisions.”
He said Mrs. Clinton “has worked very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt for her service to our country.”
The decision not to prosecute Clinton is now well known to be a political deal that threw FBI Director James Comey under the bus. Now that Trump will sit in the Oval Office, there will be enormous pressure to pursue charges, a special prosecutor, or a grand jury to decide Clinton’s case.
With Obama worried about his legacy, he might consider the “optics” of granting a pardon and how that might affect Democratic candidates in the future. But that’s never stopped our current president before.