Before Barack Obama bows out of office, Rev. Jesse Jackson wants him to use his presidential powers to give Hillary Clinton an absolute pardon.
Without saying that Clinton did anything wrong, Jackson stated that the outgoing president should block Donald Trump’s intent to prosecute Clinton for using a private email server during her tenure as the secretary of state.
During the anti-racism rally at the University of Michigan on Wednesday, he cited the case of Gerald Ford pardoning Richard Nixon for the Watergate scandal.
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“President Ford said we don’t need him for trophy,” he said. “We need to move on. President Nixon wasn’t convicted of a crime. He didn’t apply for a pardon. (Ford) did it because he thought it would be best for the country.”
In the same vein, Jackson told the audience that “it would be a monumental moral mistake to pursue the indictment of Hillary Clinton.”
“Hillary Clinton has not been tried, but there are those who want to drag her for the next three years,” he added. “It will not stop until they find a reason to put her in jail. That would be a travesty.”
For her part, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sees no reason for Jackson to call on Obama to pardon Clinton.
“Pardon her for what? I don’t have the faintest idea what you’re talking about. I mean I just don’t know,” she told the Daily Caller. “I don’t know what he would pardon her for. For what? I’m sorry. That just doesn’t make any sense to me.”
President-elect Trump has been coy about anything related to his political opponent. Whereas during the debates and his fiery speeches, the billionaire had demanded that Clinton be jailed, and now seems bent on not showing his hand before his inauguration in January.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he said of prosecuting the former first lady, “It’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought because I want to solve health care, jobs, border control, tax reform.”
This was a complete turnaround from the final debates when he directly told Clinton, “I hate to say it, but if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.”
Just as Jackson fears, the problem is Trump’s team has not ruled out prosecuting Clinton.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, previously told Morning Joe that they have yet to discuss that issue.
“I think you heard his own words last night to the extent that one man can as president and certainly Vice President Pence, who is phenomenal, they’re looking to unify the country,” she said. “But we haven’t discussed that in recent days and I think that it’s all in good time.”
If indeed Trump orders a full-on investigation, he will have to tell his Attorney General—who might turn out to be Rudy Giuliani—to appoint a special prosecutor to establish probable cause that will warrant an indictment.
While Conway believes that Obama and Clinton should play elder statesmen and ask everybody to calm down amid all the anti-Trump protests, Jackson thinks that the demonstrations are a symptom of a much larger illness.
The civil rights activist said that America is undergoing an identity crisis, in light of Trump’s upset victory over Clinton despite her winning the popular vote.
“These demonstrations are born out of fear. Fear that the Klan will ride again. Fear that violence (against minorities) is coming back,” Jackson said. “In this election, voters voted for fear. I think hope will defeat hate, but it’s a battle.”
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]