20. February 2020
In the wake of several pardons and commutations that were recently granted by the President, I have noticed that people's reactions to those pardons and commutations generally fall into one of two categories:
- People who hate the president are screaming about "abuse of power"
- People who like or tolerate the president do not seem to care
Setting the record straight, Article II Section 2 of the US Constitution states:
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
So there is no "abuse of power" here; the President is performing the duties that are granted to his office by the Constitution.
That being said, the following meme has been making its way around social media:
Just in case someone doubts the authenticity of those statistics, here is the official Department of Justice website where they came from: https://www.justice.gov/pardon/clemency-statistics. For the record, the numbers in that meme are 100% accurate.
Of course, Trump is only ¾ of the way through his term as President, so I would expect his numbers to continue to climb. But not nearly as rapidly as Clinton's infamous Pardongate, and nowhere near the level of Obama's shockingly high numbers.