President Trump Has Granted Clemency Less Than Every President In Modern History Bar One

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Dec 24, 2020 - 06:49 AM

Well this is going to break the mainstream media narrative...

As Trump has pardoned some relatively high profile individuals such as Roger Stone, General Mike Flynn, and Paul Manafort, the liberalati has got its gender-neutral panties in a bundle over these "digusting", "corrupt", "cronyism" actions.

It turns out however that, even including the recent surge, PewResearch reports that Trump has used his clemency power less often than any president in modern history (apart from Bush Senior), according to data from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Infographic: How U.S. Presidents Rank For Clemency | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

President Trump has granted clemency or pardoned 98 people in the last four years (76 pardons and 22 commutations). Obama, by comparison, granted clemency 1,927 times during his eight-year tenure, including 212 pardons and 1,715 commutations.

In terms of total executive clemency actions, Obama granted the most since Harry S. Truman

The only modern president who granted clemency less frequently than Trump is George H.W. Bush, who granted 77 pardons and commutations in his single term.

As PewResearch writes, clemency refers to multiple forms of presidential mercy. The two most common forms are pardons, which forgive past crimes and restore civil rights, and commutations, which completely or partially reduce sentences for those in prison or on community supervision. Two less-common forms are remissions, which reduce financial penalties associated with convictions, and respites, which are temporary reprieves that are usually granted to inmates for medical reasons.

The Justice Department’s statistics, it’s important to note, do not count clemency granted through proclamation or executive order, such as the actions taken by Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter to forgive thousands of Vietnam-era draft dodgers. The DOJ numbers also count some clemency recipients twice – for example, in cases where someone received both a pardon and a commutation.

While rare so far, Trump’s use of presidential clemency has caused controversy because of the nature of his pardons and commutations. Many of Trump’s clemency recipients have had a “personal or political connection to the president,” according to a July analysis by the Lawfare blog, and he has often circumvented the formal process through which clemency requests are typically considered.  

But Trump is far from the only president who has faced scrutiny over his use of clemency. Obama’s frequent use of commutations, particularly for prisoners convicted of drug-related crimes, prompted criticism from Republicans, who said it benefited “an entire class of offenders” and infringed on the “lawmaking authority” of the legislative branch. And President Bill Clinton drew bipartisan condemnation for pardoning a fugitive commodities trader, Marc Rich, on his last day in office in 2001.

As Stephen Lendmann notes, pardons may only be granted for federal crimes.  They cannot be issued for individuals impeached, tried, and convicted by Congress.

Thomas Jefferson granted pardons to individuals convicted of sedition.

Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon — even though he wasn’t formally charged or convicted of federal crimes. He was unjustly tainted by cooked up Watergate offenses. He was marked for removal from office for threatening entrenched military/industrial/security and other interests.

GHW Bush pardoned convicted felon Elliott Abrams and other Iran-Contra defendants – their high crimes forgiven, not forgotten.

Can presidents pardon themselves? The nation’s founders didn’t address this issue.

Constitutional experts disagree on it.

Of course, the big event that many are hoping for (and many others are vehemently against) is pardoning Julian Assange (and/or Ed Snowden).