President Obama doesn’t need his phone for this job — just the pen. With but a stroke of it, he could pardon Hillary Clinton for any crimes she may have committed in E-mailgate and spare the rest of us the long drama.
At first blush that might seem ridiculous. Though the press is rattling on about how the former secretary of state has broken all sorts of federal laws in connection with her e-mail, Clinton hasn’t been formally accused of anything.
That doesn’t mean that she couldn’t get a presidential pardon. Richard Nixon hadn’t been indicted of any crime when President Gerald Ford gave him a pardon.
Nor had most of the Vietnam-era draft dodgers that President Jimmy Carter pardoned (on his first day in office).
Fact is that the pardon is the least-fettered presidential power. The president can pardon anyone for any offense against the United States, save for treason.
He doesn’t have to get the consent of the Senate. He doesn’t have to get it cleared by a federal judge.