What Democrats are concealing.
According to Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states “The President…shall have the power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment...
Presidential pardons can be granted anytime after an offense has been committed including before, during, or after a conviction for the offense. If granted before a conviction is given, it prevents any penalties from attaching to the person. If granted after a conviction, it removes the penalties, and restores the person to all his or her civil rights. However, a pardon can never be granted before an offense has been committed – because the president does not have the power to waive the laws.
Clinton can pardon herself if prosecuted according to Gregg Jarrett at Fox News. So the only way forward after taking office would be impeachment. He went on to opine that immunity from prior deeds prosecution after a president takes office has never been challenged before and the outcome is unclear though a president can not be prosecuted for actions taken while in office.
The question then becomes, given the yellow stripes on the backs of many Republican senators and the seating of Democrats, would an impeachment ever be likely. Probably not. In addition, so long as the IRS is under the thumb of the oval office in either an Obama or Clinton administration, no help would be forthcoming on a separate filing of IRS charges for tax evasion or fraud.
Trial for a criminal case might be upheld after leaving office such as in the case of any illegal activity by Bill Clinton. Might that indirectly embroil Hillary Clinton, probably; but again, this is a unique case and a shadowy area not ever explored.
One key thing to keep in mind: Presidential pardons only apply to federal criminal acts against the United States.
So how could the Clintons be brought down while the current level of partiality, appearance of collusion, and outright shackling of the FBI and DoJ is going on? Is it possible for states to actually prosecute the Clintons themselves?
Answer – YES – according to the American Bar Association it is possible under state criminal laws. Additionally the President has no power to pardon for state laws and courts.
AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION – Introduction: RICO State by State: A Guide to Litigation Under the State Racketeering Statutes, Second Edition
Vol. 2, No. 4; John E. Floyd, Editorial Chair, November 2012.
RICO LAWs are not just federal but have been enacted as RICO-based statutes by 33 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Territory of the United States Virgin Islands. So if any or preferably all of those states found proof of crimes by the Clintons and chose to pursue the indictment neither the sitting nor future president could interfere or pardon.
None of the state RICO states are exact duplicates of federal RICO and many are significantly broader in scope than the federal statute. Set forth below are a few examples of important distinctions between state RICO statutes and their federal counterpart that make close examination of state RICO statutes useful and necessary:
*> Many state RICO statutes have significantly broader civil and criminal applications than the federal statute, incorporating an array of state law offenses that are outside the scope of the federal statute.
*> Many state RICO statutes have longer periods of limitation than the federal statute.
*> Many state RICO statutes have fewer essential elements than the federal statute and those essential elements are often easier to establish than their federal counterparts.
*> Many state RICO statutes allow the recovery of a broader range of damages in civil actions, such as damages for personal injury and punitive damages, than is available under the federal statute.
*> Many state RICO statutes specifically authorize equitable relief for private parties that may not be available under the federal statute.
*> Although federal criminal RICO prosecutions must receive prior approval from the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Department of Justice, in most states RICO prosecutions can be initiated without centralized review, often by any district attorney.
*> State RICO actions may be subject to defenses, including state constitutional arguments that are not available under federal RICO.
*> Some state courts are showing a willingness to recognize both the substantial differences between many state RICO statutes and the federal statute and that state RICO statutes frequently have more in common with each other than they do with the federal statute.
*> Restrictive amendments to the federal RICO statute, such as the de facto elimination of securities fraud as a predicate act, have little or no effect upon state RICO statutes.
*> More state RICO statutes will probably be enacted. For example, Nebraska enacted a statute in 2009 and the Illinois House of Representatives passed HB 1907, the Illinois Street Gang and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Law in 2010.
Many state RICO statutes present a triple threat, providing for civil liability, criminal liability, and forfeiture. Given the difficulty of litigating civil claims under the federal RICO statute in many circuits, attorneys continue to consider state RICO claims as alternatives or supplements to claims under the federal RICO statute. The passage of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995,3 which bars private federal RICO actions based upon conduct that would have been actionable as fraud in the purchase or sale of securities (unless the defendant has been criminally convicted in connection with the fraud), has accelerated this shift to the use of state RICO statutes in some jurisdictions. At the same time, defense counsel are developing new arguments based upon state statutes and state constitutions, as well as advancing arguments that, although rejected by some federal courts, may find acceptance in state RICO litigation.
Most state RICO statutes are first and foremost criminal statutes and the same language that creates broad potential civil liability under these statutes usually defines the scope of potential criminal liability. As with federal RICO, the increase in certain kinds of criminal behavior, ranging from identity theft and mortgage fraud to human trafficking and terrorism have led to the expansion of existing RICO statutes and the enactment of new ones. The proliferation of criminal gangs has similarly led to the adoption of anti-gang statutes based upon RICO concepts. Hopefully this book will help facilitate the more effective use of these statutes.
Most state RICO statutes also contain forfeiture provisions. Whether a particular RICO statute provides for forfeiture to take place in a civil or criminal proceeding, those proceedings will frequently involve the rights not only of the state and the title holder to real or personal property, but also the rights of third parties such as lien holders, lessors, subsequent purchasers of real and personal property, and plaintiffs in private civil actions whose judgments may be affected if forfeiture occurs.
But DOES the RICO law apply to Clintons? Legal types have to decide. Here is a brief summary though for the rest of us where Hillary and Bill might fall into a category.
18 U.S. Code Chapter 96 – RACKETEER INFLUENCED AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS
“racketeering activity” means
(A) any act or threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act), which is chargeable under State law and punishable by imprisonment for more than one year;
(B) any act which is indictable to bribery, to mail fraud, to wire fraud, relating to financial institution fraud, relating to obscene matter, to obstruction of justice, obstruction of criminal investigations, relating to the obstruction of State or local law enforcement, to tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant, to retaliating against a witness, victim, or an informant, to fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents, to peonage, slavery, and trafficking in persons, to economic espionage and theft of trade secrets, to interference with commerce, robbery, or extortion, to the laundering of monetary instruments), to engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity), to illegal money transmitters, to sexual exploitation of children, to white slave traffic;
(E) any act which is indictable under the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act,
(F) any act which is indictable under the Immigration and Nationality Act,
Interesting to contemplate that there IS a way if only it can be done quickly and with evidence within those 33 states.
Tomorrow tells the tale whether this will be moot or not.