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President Barack Obama hugs Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton after addressing the delegates during the third day session of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The White House won't rule out a possible pardon for Hillary Clinton


11/9/16: White House Press Briefing

The White House suggested Wednesday that it won't rule out issuing a pardon to protect Hillary Clinton from facing prosecution over the use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. 

The president has offered clemency to a substantial number of Americans who were previously serving time in federal prisons.
Josh Earnest

When White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, was asked Wednesday if President Obama had considered using that executive power, he replied in cryptic-fashion. 

Earnest said the administration doesn't discuss specific cases of that nature in advance.

He did however, indicate that Obama hoped that a pardon wouldn't be necessary. 

“We’ve got a long tradition in this country of people in power not using the criminal justice system to exact political revenge,” Earnest said. “We go to great lengths to insulate our criminal justice system from partisan politics.”

Earnest also noted that president-elect Donald Trump was gracious toward Clinton in his victory speech early Wednesday morning. 

The White House won't rule out a possible pardon for Hillary Clinton

WATCH | Trump congratulates Clinton on a hard-fought fight 

All this is particularly of concern for Clinton during the final months of Obama's presidency because Trump warned her during the final debate, "you'd be in jail." 

Trump supporters have also frequently chanted "lock her up" when her name was mentioned at rallies. 

According to Bloomberg, Trump allies suggested that prosecuting Clinton wouldn't be one of the president-elect's priorities when he enters the White House. 


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