Catherine Cortez Masto Wants More Transparency on Presidential Pardons
Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Abuse of the Pardon Prevention Act -- legislation that will add transparency and accountability to the pardon process in cases involving investigations of the president or his relatives. “I am deeply troubled by indications that President Trump may use his pardon powers as a tool to obstruct justice or derail ongoing investigations against his campaign, businesses and personal associations,” said Cortez Masto. “This bill would give Congress and the public the ability and opportunity to assess whether the pardon power has been exercised appropriately, or in the self-interest of the President and his family.” In the event a president pardons someone in connection with an investigation in which the president or one of his family members is a target, subject, or witness, the Justice Department would be required to provide all records of the investigation to the appropriate congressional committees within 30 days. The creation of this mandatory disclosure requirement would create a disincentive for any president who wishes to use the pardon power as an instrument of obstruction in an ongoing investigation. It ensures Congress has the opportunity to assess whether there may have been a conflict of interest or other impropriety involved in granting any pardon issued in a case in which the president or his family is directly involved. The move by the two Senators follows a similar companion bill filed in the House last week by Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA). More here.