Sore over Scooter Libby, clueless Schiff pushes legislation to limit presidential powers to pardon

Rep. Adam Schiff is sorely lacking in his knowledge of the Constitution.

Either that or, like his fellow Democrats, he thinks the law of the land is open for interpretation.

The California Democrat is now pushing to pass legislation that will limit the president’s power to pardon whomever he wants.

Schiff spoke about his proposal to circumvent the Constitution during an interview on  ABC’s ‘This Week,’ on Sunday as he referred to President Trump’s pardon of Lewis “Scooter” Libby last week. Libby, who served as assistant to the president in the George W. Bush White House and Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, was convicted of perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to investigators in revealing that Valerie Plame was a CIA operative.

“You’d have to believe the president picked Scooter Libby out of a hat, out of the thousands of people seeking a pardon,” Schiff told ABC anchor George Stephanoplous. “This was a complete coincidence. I don’t find that the least bit credible.”

The Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee believes the president “is sending a message,” saying  “I will use the pardon power to pardon people even that have been convicted of leaking or obstruction of justice – if you’re with me I have your back.”

“I think this is the very blatant message the president is trying to send,” Schiff continued,  “and I’m working on legislation, frankly, that would say that any pardon that the president issues in which he is a potential witness, subject or target – the files ought to be provided to Congress so that the American people can tell whether this is part of an obstruction of justice.”

Hours before Trump’s official pardon of Libby, Schiff was already slamming the move and accusing the president of pardoning a “convicted leaker and liar” while attacking former FBI chief James Comey as the same.

According to Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the president “shall have the Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

A petition for pardon must be submitted to the Office of the Pardon Attorney, a part of the Justice Department, and must include a five-year waiting period.

“A presidential pardon is ordinarily a sign of forgiveness and is granted in recognition of the applicant’s acceptance of responsibility for the crime and established good conduct for a significant period of time after conviction or release from confinement,” according to the Justice Department. “A pardon is not a sign of vindication and does not connote or establish innocence.”

And while Libby is Trump’s third pardon since taking office in 2017, his predecessor, former President Obama, issued a total of 1,927 pardons, more than any president since Harry S. Truman, according to data from the Pew Research Center.

But Schiff is apparently allergic to facts – and the U.S. Constitution.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended Trump’s pardon and slammed the Democratic lawmaker as a “grandstander” in an earlier segment on ABC.

“Adam Schiff barely — rarely bases any comments in reality. Talk about a grandstander,” she told Stephanopolous.

“He probably is hook line and sinker buddies with Jim Comey. They both have never found TV camera they don’t love to be in front of. The point that the president made when it came to Scooter Libby, this was somebody who had been wrongly convicted, he’s been reinstated by the D.C. bar quite some time ago,” Sanders continued. “The primary person that testified against him has recanted their testimony and the president felt it was the right thing to do. These two things have nothing to do with one another.”


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Frieda Powers


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