Election 2016 Round Table Discussion: In the second presidential debate, Donald Trump indicated that, if elected, he would have a special prosecutor investigate Hillary Clinton and her private e-mail server. If Trump wins, should Barack Obama step in and pardon her and others involved in the scandal or should he remain neutral?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-In the interest of the country, Barack Obama probably should remain neutral concerning Hillary Clinton’s scandal ridden career, particularly in reference to her actions as Secretary of State, and he is fully aware of her e-mail transmissions, her access to a private e-mail server and her Clinton Foundation solicitation of foreign donations.

With Obama being  more than  cognizant of  Clinton’s  many domestic and foreign interactions that have transpired under her tenure as Secretary of State, he  should allow Congress and the rule of law to take authority in her alleged criminal activity, but he most likely will not, as he could very well be implicated in her dealings with the State Department, foreign diplomatic operatives, and money exchanges, so pardoning her may be the answer to not only extricating Clinton but himself from her and his own wrongdoings. He, in the long run, should be held equally responsible for her errors at the highest level because of his authority over her and his knowledge of her actions.

Should a special prosecutor be appointed and an investigation mounted through a Trump Justice Department, it is likely that Obama  could be called on  to account for Clinton’s actions while she served  in his administration, so pardoning her would be to his advantage, particularly with his probable involvement  in and knowledge of  her  indiscretions  as well as knowledge of any lower level individuals involved with working for, associating with and covering for the former Secretary of State.

Whatever the outcome of the 2016 General Election, there is sufficient evidence to incriminate others and with Clinton’s continual lies, excuses and cover-ups concerning her e-mail server, lost emails, the Benghazi debacle, the Clinton Foundation, the recent Wikileaks emails, the O’Keefe tapes and the reopening of the e-mail investigation by the FBI, obviously more evidence against her exists that will surface before and after the election.

New congressional investigations or other documentation from separate lawsuits and other outside investigations could implicate Clinton even further.  Even if she were sworn in as president, she could still be prosecuted for perjury, destruction of federal records or other violations.  As president, she would not have immunity from criminal prosecution concerning her former actions.

Despite the fact that Clinton has not been charged with specific crimes, and with the FBI’s reopening of the e-mail case, Obama could still pardon her to release her from any possible prosecution, whether or not she becomes the president.  His constitutional pardoning authority could possibly be her escape from the e-mail debacle, as well as criminal indictment, suspicion, a weakened political position and the veil of an unlawful and illegitimate presidency.  In this case, impeachment would also be unlikely as well. Congress could pursue it but  would most probably not because of her husband’s past impeachment, the political risks, those covering for her, and the further weakening of the office of the presidency.

The only way to avoid any future or delayed actions against Hillary Clinton is for Obama to pardon her of any and all criminal acts that she may have committed up and beyond her tenure as Secretary of State. He would also probably pardon her should she lose the election. That possibility sends the message to voters as to whether they really want to put someone in office that requires rescue and release of possible crimes through a presidential pardon. Obama will most probably do so to save her, those associated with her actions and any implications directly associated with him in the process. Though no sitting president has attempted to pardon himself, there is always a first with an Obama presidency. His second choice would likely be Clinton.


Gastonia, NC Correspondent-I believe one can only be pardoned after committing and being convicted of a crime, and it’s highly unlikely that the latter will happen before the end of Obama’s term.  Trump can’t appoint a special prosecutor until he’s in office, and when he comes in, Obama goes out.  If he were able to pardon Clinton, I would certainly hope that Obama would not do so…but it’s a factual impossibility.

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-The Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal has been dragged through the media so often over the past year, and then resurrected by Republicans as a campaign weapon, its significance in the grand scheme of world politics seems to have been grossly exaggerated. If new evidence can be found that shows Clinton is guilty of a crime, she should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If not, it seems the present administration has acted appropriately based on the findings of the various inquiries and investigations.

A claim can be made that the Clinton case was minimized because of partisanship, which is a typical reaction since most politics are partisan and parties always want to maximize their standing with their constituents and the public. However, the FBI is supposedly above partisanship since the FBI director is not an elected official and does not report directly to the President. FBI Director James Comey was once a Republican, but he was also appointed to his post by President Obama, so partisanship seems unlikely in this case.

It’s doubtful President Obama would have appointed an FBI director who would go after a fellow Democrat, Clinton, on his orders as a ploy to discredit her and harm her chances of winning the election. Where is the logic in facilitating her investigation but also being willing to pardon her in the event Trump wins and authorizes a special prosecutor?

If Trump wins and does appoint a special prosecutor, the findings of that investigation probably won’t be made until well after Obama is out of office, which will render moot the issue of a pardon. And if Obama issues a pre-emptive pardon to Clinton before he leaves office, he is essentially admitting her guilt. This would be counterproductive for Democratic chances to win future elections since the public will see the Democrats as conniving cheaters who believe themselves to be above the law. The only logical course for Obama to take if Trump wins and follows through on his promise is to remain neutral. He only needs to remember the damage done to Gerald Ford’s reputation after he pardoned Richard Nixon after Nixon resigned the presidency in disgrace.


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