President Bush, the Plenary Power of Presidential Pardons, and Potential for Abuse
By Carol Bengle Gilbert, published Nov 23, 2008 AC Blog and at Bill of Rights Defense Committee daily news for Nov 23, 2008 Total Views: 720,916 Rating: 4.7 of 5
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced on Friday H.R. 1531, urging President George W. Bush not to pardon administration officials for crimes the President authorized. The pending Congressional resolution also calls for Congress to investigate alleged crimes committed by the Bush administration and to urge the Attorney General to appoint an independent counsel to prosecute any crimes determined to have been committed.
H.R. 1531 is premised on allegations that the Bush administration "may have committed crimes involving the mistreatment of detainees, the extraordinary rendition of individuals to countries known to engage in torture, illegal surveillance of United States citizens, unlawful leaks of classified information, obstruction of justice, political interference with the conduct of the Justice Department, and other illegal acts."
The purpose of the resolution, if enacted, is to express the sense of Congress that premptive pardons to senior administration officials would constitute an abuse of the Presidential pardon power and that issuing preemptive pardons would constitute grounds for impeachment. In effect, the resolution would constitute a warning to George Bush to issue pardons at his own risk.