Nadler Pardon Resolution

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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(To be added)

This is the first resolution urging President Bush not to pardon senior administration officials for crimes the President authorized. It urges Congress to investigate those crimes and any pardons relating to those crimes, and urges the Attorney General (current or future) to appoint an Independent Counsel to prosecute those crimes. Please ask your Rep to co-sponsor!

H.Res. 9
Introduced 11/20/08 (Reintroduced 1/6/09) by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) (Press Release)
Referred to the Judiciary Committee

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the President of the United States should not issue pardons to senior members of his administration during the final 90 days of his term of office.

Whereas Article II, section 2, clause 1, of the Constitution of the United States provides that "[t]he President ... shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment";

Whereas Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist #74, stated, "[a]s the sense of responsibility is always strongest, in proportion as it is undivided, it may be inferred that a single man would be most ready to attend to the force of those motives which might plead for a mitigation of the rigor of the law, and least apt to yield to considerations which were calculated to shelter a fit object of its vengeance";

Whereas the Supreme Court has observed that "[a] pardon reaches both the punishment prescribed for the offence and the guilt of the offender; and when the pardon is full, it releases the punishment and blots out of existence the guilt, so that in the eye of the law the offender is as innocent as if he had never committed the offence. If granted before conviction, it prevents ... the penalties and disabilities consequent upon conviction from attaching; if granted after conviction, it removes the penalties and disabilities, and restores him to all his civil rights; it makes him, as it were, a new man, and gives him a new credit and capacity." Ex Parte Garland, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 333, 380 (1866);

Whereas during the Constitutional convention, George Mason expressed the concern that a president could abuse his pardon power to "pardon crimes which were advised by himself" or, before indictment or conviction, "to stop inquiry and prevent detection";

Whereas James Madison responded to Mason's concerns by stating that "[i]f the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds [to] believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty";

Whereas although not constitutionally binding, the Pardon Attorney's regulations governing the granting of presidential pardons states "[n]o petition for pardon should be filed until the expiration of a waiting period of at least five years after the date of the release of the petitioner from confinement or, in case no prison sentence was imposed, until the expiration of a period of at least five years after the date of the conviction of the petitioner. Generally, no petition should be submitted by a person who is on probation, parole, or supervised release." 28 C.F.R. 1.2 (2000);

Whereas on President George H.W. Bush granted a full, complete, and unconditional pardon to Elliott Abrams, Duane R. Clarridge, Alan Fiers, Clair George, Robert C. McFarlane, and Caspar W. Weinberger for all offenses charged, prosecuted, or committed in connection with the Iran-Contra Scandal in which he was alleged to have been involved;

Whereas in a press conference on February 22, 2001, President George W. Bush stated, "Should I decide to grant pardons, I will do so in a fair way. I will have the highest of high standards";

Whereas investigations by Congressional committees, and press reports, raise serious concerns that senior officials of the administration of President George W. Bush 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;

Whereas President George W. Bush has been urged to grant preemptive pardons to senior administration officials who might face criminal prosecution for actions taken in the course of their official duties; and

Whereas pardons issued during the lame duck period of a President's term would not be subject to the judgement of the voters;

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That-

(1) it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the granting of preemptive pardons by the President to senior officials of his administration for acts they may have taken in the course of their official duties is a dangerous abuse of the pardon power;

(2) it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the President should not grant preemptive pardons to senior officials in his administration for acts they may have taken in the course of their official duties;

(3) it is the sense of the House of Representatives that James Madison was correct in his observation that "[i]f the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds [to] believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty";

(4) it is the sense of the House of Representatives that a special investigative commission, or a Select Committee be tasked with investigating possible illegal activities by senior officials of the administration of President George W. Bush, including, if necessary, any abuse of the President's pardon power; and

(5) the next Attorney General of the United States appoint an independent counsel to investigate, and, where appropriate, prosecute illegal acts by senior officials of the administration of President George W. Bush.

Comments

pardons by President Bush

  • pepawjoe0943's picture
    pepawjoe0943
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Please correct me if I am wrong. I am really confused at how can we, as in "We the People" be assured by our Congress, that if President George W Bush, DOES issue pardons before he leaves office, can he still be liable for his and his adminstration's actions against the Constitution, and those "We the People" rights given by the Constitution.
There seems to be so many different interputations flying around today, some indicate "YES WE CAN STILL PROTECT "WE THE PEOPLE", while other interpertations indicate that "We the people" must simply live with the simple fact that we are screwed again.
A simple explanation should be required here. "We the People " deserve to know the truth, and the real facts in this matter. It is well documented that there are multiple impeachment infractions by the Bush adminstration, shouldn't there be an impeachment inquiry by our Congress, to ensure that "We the People" do have an avenue to prevent President George W Bush from issueing pardons for the sole purpose of giving pardons to himself, or anyone else guilty of any impeachable offense against "We the People", and our Constitution.
Simply, will we still have the right to pursue 'justice for all', as "We the People" are promised, and even more, we deserve from our Congress. Can and will those pardons that exsist, can and will they be revoked too?

if Bush pardons everyone (including himself)

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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for Federal crimes, Congress can still impeach him and everyone he pardoned.

Impeachment is obviously not the same as criminal prosecution - the only consequences of impeachment are (1) removal from and (2) prohibition on holding future office.

(1) won't matter but (2) is worth doing, especially for Bush's appointees, because a future Republican might try to reappoint them, as was done with Iran-Contra convicts John Poindexter and Elliot Abrams.

Also Bush can still be prosecuted for non-federal crimes. Vince Bugliosi believes any local prosecutor can charge him with murder for knowingly and fraudulently sending our troops to die in Iraq.

Bush can also be charged with war crimes by other countries, although he would never show up for trial.

Nadler Resolution

  • Sandra Marshall's picture
    Sandra Marshall
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What is the real significance of this Resolution? How powerful is a resolution to reinforce the "feeling of the House", a house that has not had the courage, passion and commitment to protect and uphold the consitution?

Bush has knowingly and wilfully ignored and violated the Constitution. Why does Nadler think he will pay attention to a Resolution that has no real power but simply mentions an attitude of the house? It seems like a distraction from the work that should be taking place. What this congress does now sets the foundation for the future. I cannot believe that the crimes of the last eight years will be ignored. The Bush administration has destroyed this nation; those that have stood by silently and allowed it to take place part of the problem not the solution.

On November 4 voters made it clear that that they want change. It was not about electing a Democrat, rather it was a STRONG LOUD statement for change. Bush and war out - Obama and hope in. Most what this administration to be held accountable. If they are not and allowed to walk the people will be angry and these lawbreakers will have the ability to return and serve again. Imagine, should a Republican administration return, the likes of Gonzales or Cheney serving again.

If this Democratic Congress continues to disappoint the people, support for the party will shift in yet another direction. At a recent Obama party, where hundreds of volunteers celebrated the November victory. most said they will not work for the Democratic party but they will work for change; many play to re-register decline to state.

While Nadler's Resolution will bring attention to Bush's ability to pardon it can not stop it. I fear that jumping on board, taking our attention off the ball, the real solution... upholding the constitution, we will weaken/divide the impeachment movement much like what happened when NIN members arrived in DC to lobby for impeachment last September and found tha we had to face off with an insider who worked to divide and undermine our efforts.

Who's working for who on this effort and who benefits?

the resolution is not remotely as powerful

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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as impeachment - obviously.

but it's the first official declaration by a Democrat in a leadership position (Nadler) that he wants real accountability for those in the Bush administration who committed crimes - even if Bush does pardon them.

item (4) calls for "a special investigative commission, or a Select Committee", while item (5) calls for an "independent counsel."

Rep. Nadler's anti-pardon resolution

  • p.dillon's picture
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It is unfortunate that the Democratic leadership apparently continues to keep impeachment of the White House criminals "off the table," and that Rep. Conyers and Rep. Nadler have apparently been so obsequious in the matter. I believe Bush in his arrogant fashion will ignore the petition, pardon all the crooks, and happily retire to his Texas ranch, leaving in place the ghastly precedents his policies have established. The shredding of our Constitution will be as much the responsibility of Ms. Pelosi, Mr.Conyers, Mr. Nadler, and other spineless Dems, as of the criminal gang presently in power.

you should thank bush

  • christoff's picture
    christoff
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what's the matter with you people, the man did everything possible to protect you and your family and this is how you respond. you should be ashamed of yourselves. i know i'm ashamed that you call yourselves americans. the vast majority of the country is fed up with hateful, vengeful dopes like you. if the terrorists were holding your family hostage, you would be begging our troops to get confessions anyway possible.

Bush failed to pursue the bastards who attacked us on 911

  • Jim's picture
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Instead he pursued oil money for the few in Iraq and left our troops to rot in Afghanistan where World War III should have been waged to gain us Bin Laden's head IMMEDIATELY after 911. (Our entire expenditure in Afghanistan adding up to only 3 weeks in Iraq).

With respect to the troops in Iraq, they too have been left to rot in Stop Loss because Republican "men", who fanned the flames of inane military policy, failed to enlist! Shame on you and your ilk.

If you'll notice as well, those of us who actually bother to gain an American eduction, predicted the outcome in Iraq perfectly. It would not be quick. It would not pay for itself. etc.

If one is too lazy to fight. Too lazy to educate oneself. Too lazy to defend the troops. etc. then America is not right for you. It's a free country. Feel free to leave it.

Jim

No, actually I'm ashamed of

  • Bill Harding's picture
    Bill Harding
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No, actually I'm ashamed of you, christoff, for calling yourself an American, because of your support for the undermining of the Constitution of the United States of America.

"The vast majority of the country" was fed up with the neoconservative Republicans' direction which led this country into an illegal war, destroyed our economy, and weakened our civil rights. That is why you, and the rest of your ilk were soundly defeated three weeks ago. Americans want much better than you have to offer.

How many of your family members have been "held hostage" by Iraqis? How many Iraqis have attacked the United States? The real "terrorists" have been residing in the White House for eight long years, while trying to scare gullible Americans like you into believing lies.

Now trot on back to your little neocon shell, and let real Americans begin to repair the damage that you have helped to create.

And I'm sorry, but you don't know a damned thing about America.

  • Jim's picture
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In isolation, if you know a rat bastard is going to kill an innocent person, then we all think it best to beat the truth out of them.

The problem is, if you give a damn about AMERICA, not just isolated incidents which you have god like knowledge about, you understand that what you suggest allows for GREATER violence against innocent folks. According to your same reasoning we would be capitulating to terrorists themselves if it helped IN THAT CASE.

Or do you also bash American Law Enforcement along with American tradition? We ALL cheer when a cop IN THE MOVIES forces a confession out of a PROVEN killer BUT Cops in real life don't beat the crap out of every body they pull over for a traffic violation even though that too would net us a rat bastard every once in a while.

Get it? America did not just pop up yesterday. We got here over time, with principles that WORK, and were fought for with sweat and blood. It's about discovering the balance which yields maximum results and its called AMERICA.

If you want a piece of shit, dumb assed anti science Nation, its a free country, feel free to leave.

Jim

Jim, it seems to me that if

  • Bill Harding's picture
    Bill Harding
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Jim, it seems to me that if someone is actually holding hostages, a "confession" should be the least of our concerns. That would be like asking a murderer to confess while in the act of pulling the trigger.

Which part of "justice" do these people not understand? Why do they not fathom that forced "confessions" do not stand up in either American, or International law? If society was allowed to force a confession from every suspected criminal (remember the Inquisition?) we would have no need for the generally accepted system of justice, nor the Geneva Rules of Warfare.

THE MOVIES BILL.

  • Jim's picture
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They are reacting the way I react in the Movies. You KNOW the guy is holding a family and they are about to die via some batman like elaborate mouse trap. You also KNOW, in a god like movie goer way that you CAN beat the confession out of them and save the family.

---------

Your opening sentence reminded me of what a comedian once mentioned. Something to the effect of: why do they ask you if you are carrying any illegal drugs? Do some people actually say; "YES........DAMMIT, I didn't think you were going to ask me that!"

LOL! No, but I have been

  • Bill Harding's picture
    Bill Harding
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LOL! No, but I have been asked by a stranger to carry this big, brown, package aboard...

A googleplex of innuendos there.

  • Jim's picture
    Jim
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;)

www.westpointgradsagainstthewar.org

  • Jim's picture
    Jim
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www.westpointgradsagainstthewar.org

Arguing for OR against a particular engagement makes one an attentive American.

We have also spent enough blood and national treasure in Iraq, for something good to come of it.

American Military Strategy however does not simply look at gains, but rather gains VERSUS cost.

That blood and treasure could have been infinitely better spent.

(And by the way, the CONSERVATIVE argument that Liberals did not have the right to spill other people's blood -i.e. soldiers- in order to "help others", made an impression on me growing up. It was valid. Suddenly however the modern Republican Party kept blasting us with that too: that "we" had to "help" Iraq because its citizenry needed us. Whatever happened to anything resembling strategy?)

Those of us who are neither Far Right ("KILL ANYTHING LIBERALS DON'T WANT US TO KILL") or Far Left ("WAR IS NEVER NECESSARY") were continually bashed for simply offering a viewpoint on Iraq. A viewpoint now born out.

pardons

  • curtisuae's picture
    curtisuae
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Folks,

I would hope President Bush does not grant any political pardons but I believe we are on very thin ice here given what Bill Clinton did. More important, I believe there are so many transition issues we need to be focusing on. Bush is almost gone. The person we need to be holding to the fire now is Obama.

Curtis

So you would let the Dubya

  • Bill Harding's picture
    Bill Harding
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So you would let the Dubya administration criminals be on their merry way with no sanctions, no accountability, and no consequences? Would you feel the same about a thief or a murderer in your own community?

Obama has not taken office yet, and you're calling for "holding [him] to the fire?" He is one of the few presidents-elect to announce a large part of his agenda prior to taking office. How would you advise him to do things differently?

Actually, Obama is holding YOUR feet to the fire: he is asking for our help in turning this nation around.

Remove Nancy Pelosi!

  • TIKAL415's picture
    TIKAL415
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From the beginning she took impeachment off the table. Every time that I write to
her she responds with bla bla bla template. "The country has more important issues
to deal with."
What is more important than upholding the Constitution?
Keeping our system of checks and balances intact?
I encourage you to read "Justice After Bush" in Harper's.
Here's a bit on the reading from the Dailykos

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/11/17/204849/93/576/662502

REMOVE NANCY PELOSI!!

This is just a distraction from impeachment!

  • mappw's picture
    mappw
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Remember this: The House Judiciary Hearing on the Limitation of Executive Power ?
http://speaker.house.gov/blog/?p=1456

Didn't you think that the crimes revealed would lead to impeachment?
It didn't. It was just a smokescreen, just something to sooth the outrage of the people who WERE DEMANDING IMPEACHMENT. Congress didn't give it to us. They just fooled us into thinking that they intended to do something about these crimes. But they never really intended to do anything, but talk about it. ALL TALK, NO ACTION!

Well this HR bill is just more of the same. It's just another "Fooly" trick, designed to make us think that they will be doing something about it, when in reality THEY WON'T!

The constitution is quite clear:
Article II, section 2, clause 1, of the Constitution of the United States provides that

"[t]he President ... shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment";

Did you understand that?

It says, the President has the right to grant pardons. That's his CONSTITUTIONAL right. Any attempt to interfere with that would be a violation of the Constitution. We've had quite enough of that.

EXCEPT... if there is an impeachment proceeding going on! WE NEED TO IMPEACH!!!!!! The constitution is quite clear when it says that "CONGRESS SHALL IMPEACH" when the President commits high crimes against the United States. According to the Constitution, Nancy Pelosi doesn't have the choice in keeping impeachment off the table. She is in violation of the Constitution herself, everyday that she refuses to start impeachment proceedings! The Constitution DEMANDS that impeachment trials begin. Presidential pardons will be null and void if, and only if, impeachment proceedings start. That is the ONLY way you can invalidate a Presidential pardon. Furthermore, impeachment must be started before the President leaves office. After he leaves, impeachment is no longer possible. After he leaves, Bush can only be brought up on criminal charges. And if he pardons himself? There's no clear precedent on whether those charges can be enforced.

This HR resolution is just an attempt to appease the public's outrage, to buy time, until Bush is out of office. After that, our hands may be tied. Then Bush gets away with murder, maybe, unless Bugliosi can help us out. Once Bush is out of office, he and his cronies get away with all the crimes they've committed over the last 8 years, and maybe even crimes committed before he got into office. Remember the voting fraud scandal of the electronic voting machines being rigged by Diebold? What other "conspiracies" occurred, to plan Bush's offenses, prior to his getting into office? We all know that the Bush family has been in bed with the oil companies for a LONG, LONG time.