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November 20, 2017
Hasn't Prez Trump has already pardoned a turkey before this week's traditional ceremony?
The question in the title of this post was prompted, with a tongue in check, by an email I received this evening with the subject-line "Vote: Which Turkey Should President Trump Pardon?." The email came with the picture reprinted here, as well as the following text and link:
Tomorrow, President Donald J. Trump will pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey in a ceremony in the Rose Garden. This year, the President will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation, as he reflects on our Nation’s rich Thanksgiving traditions and wishes American families a safe and healthy holiday. Vote here.
Clicking through to the link brought up pictures of the turkeys named Drumstick and Wishbone, but I kept thinking there should be other voting options. Prez Trump has, of course, already pardoned one person earlier this year, and there has been plenty of talk about other possible pardons.
Notably, around this time back in 2009, I had a couple of posts lamenting that Prez Obama had failed to use his clemency powers in any way before it became time for him to participate in the traditional turkey pardon spectacle (a few of these posts are linked below). In fact, as revealed in this DOJ Pardon Attorney statistics page, Prez Obama and Prez Bush and Prez Clinton all started their presidencies with two full years in which they failed to use their historic clemency powers in any way.
But Prez Trump is unlike his predecessors in so many ways, and his use of the pardon power is yet another example. Specifically, as folks must surely recall, Prez Trump pardoned attorney former Sheriff Joe Arpaio back in August. It now appears that either Drumstick and Wishbone will be next, and then who knows.
Posts from 2009 about the last, first Prez Thanksgiving pardon event:
- Justified complaints that Obama's first pardon will be of a turkey
- "President Barack Obama proving stingy with his pardon power"
- Notable press stories noting Obama's lack of clemency action
- The true sentencing turkeys on this Thanksgiving eve
November 20, 2017 at 10:21 PM | Permalink
"But Prez Trump is unlike his predecessors in so many ways, and his use of the pardon power is yet another example. "
Yes, actually handling the one usage of his pardon power in a half-way proper matter would have likely meant processing it thru normal channels after sentencing and probably the completion of at least a minimal appeals process. This would have meant at the very least handing it down next year.
December 3, 2010 might have been somewhat too late -- probably could have set things up to have at least a few end of the year pardons/commutations in 2009. But, let's see how Trump handles pardons other than a special solo for ideological reasons and a joke pardon for turkeys where he felt it necessary to take a potshot at Obama.
Posted by: Joe | Nov 23, 2017 1:27:26 PM