Here’s What People Forget When It Comes To Presidential Pardons

WASHINGTON, D.C. - FEBRUARY 28: President Donald Trump signs an Executive Order to begin the roll-back of environmental regulations put in place by the Obama administration February 28, 2017 in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. The Clean Water Rule, also known as WOTUS, the Waters of the U.S. rule, has been unpopular with some farmers, housing developers and energy companies. (Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images)

Yesterday, President Donald Trump pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Following the announcement, former Deputy National Security Advisor for President Barack Obama Ben Rhodes challenged the decision over Twitter.

Check it out:

Here’s how people responded:

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The Washington Post reports a number of controversial pardons made by Obama:

In that spirit, and unconstrained by reelection politics, President Obama used his last week in office to grant clemency to hundreds of federal prisoners, reducing the sentences of some and pardoning others outright.

Obama’s most controversial decision was to let Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning go after seven years of what was supposed to be a 35-year sentence for passing secret documents to WikiLeaks. Military and intelligence professionals were angered at the indulgent signal this might send.

He mad a number of other pardons, including the hotly contested pardon of Oscar Rivera:

The vast majority of Obama’s executive clemency orders affected people considered low-level, nonviolent participants in drug-dealing, plus a few odd cases such as that of baseball great Willie McCovey, whose conviction for failing to pay taxes on money he made signing autographs Obama reasonably wiped from the record.

What was Obama thinking, however, when he ordered the release of Oscar Lopez Rivera? During the 1970s, Lopez Rivera headed a Chicago-based cell of the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), which waged a futile but violent struggle to win Puerto Rican independence.

The FALN claimed responsibility for more than 120 bombings between 1974 and 1983 in a wave of senseless destruction that killed six and injured dozens. In 1981, a federal court in Chicago sentenced Lopez Rivera, then 37, to 55 years for seditious conspiracy, armed robbery, interstate transportation of firearms and conspiracy to transport explosives with intent to destroy government property.


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