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View Diary: 5 Members Of Congress In Bribery Probe. Katherine Harris, Karma (152 comments)

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  •  So is "I am not a crook" (6+ / 0-)

    an admission of guilt?

    Republican are a strange bunch, indeed.

    •  Before Resignation (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, Roadbed Guy, linkage

      So is "I am not a crook"
      an admission of guilt?

      stated while he was president, not after he resigned...

      •  Not that I'm doubting you, but (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattman, linkage, StuHunter

        just in case I ever want to pass along the information to my sure to be skeptical friends that Nixon admitted guilt, preferably in a pre-pardon timeframe, could you kindly supply a definitive-type link?


        •  Pardon Links (6+ / 0-)

          Not that I'm doubting you, but
          just in case I ever want to pass along the information to my sure to be skeptical friends that Nixon admitted guilt, preferably in a pre-pardon timeframe, could you kindly supply a definitive-type link?

          See if this helps...

          September 2, 1974: Pardon an Implicit Admission of Guilt, White House Lawyer Finds  
          Researching the legal and technical aspects of presidential pardons (see August 30, 1974), Benton Becker, President Ford’s lawyer, finds that they only apply to federal crimes, meaning, for example, that Richard Nixon can still be prosecuted for crimes in California arising from his connections to the Ellsberg burglary (see September 9, 1971). It would not affect a Senate impeachment trial, even though the possibility of that happening is increasingly remote. Becker finds two legal references of particular use in his research: the 1915 Supreme Court case of United States v. Burdick, which attempted to answer the fundamental question of the meaning of a presidential pardon; and an 1833 quote from the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Marshall, who wrote, “A pardon is an act of grace… which exempts the individual on whom it is bestowed from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed.” Becker determines that such an “act of grace” is an implicit admission of guilt. Unlike the proposed conditional amnesty for draft evaders (see August 31, 1974), a pardon will strike convictions from the books and exempt those pardoned from any responsibility for answering for their crimes, but it does not forget (in a legal sense) that those crimes took place. “The pardon is an act of forgiveness,” Becker explains. “We are forgiving you—the president, the executive, the king—is forgiving you for what you’ve done, your illegal act that you’ve either been convicted of, or that you’ve been accused of, or that you’re being investigated for, or that you’re on trial for. And you don’t have to accept this—you can refuse this.” The Burdick decision convinces Becker that by pardoning Nixon, Ford can stop his imminent prosecution, and undoubted conviction, without having to condone Nixon’s crimes. For Nixon to accept a pardon would be, in a legal sense, an admission of criminal wrongdoing. [WERTH, 2006, PP. 263-265]
          Entity Tags: Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr, Benton Becker, Supreme Court, John Marshall, Richard Nixon

          •  OK, thanks . . .. so the gist (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Marie, mattman, StuHunter

            is that by accepting the pardon, he essentially admitted guilt in a backhanded way?

            I suppose that's something . . . . (OTOH, I had never really considered the option that a pardon was something that could be rejected - you know, like when you're given an intentional bass on balls you could decline that 'cuz you want to hit the walk of HR . . . .).

            In any event, it's nice to see something by Becker, I kinda miss his TV show (I suspect that I'm the only one in that boat).

          •  That lawyer's opinion (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy, linkage, Judge Moonbox

            was issued six days before the actual pardon, and may have contributed to the unusually broad language that Ford employed: [emphasis added]

            ... I, GERALD R. FORD... grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9,1974.

            Because it specifically includes all offenses that Nixon may have committed, I doubt that Nixon's acceptance of it could be construed as an implicit admission of guilt. But IANAL.

            Be the change that you wish to see in the White House.

            by Nowhere Man on Fri Nov 28, 2008 at 03:05:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Um, accepting a pardon may be (7+ / 0-)

          ... an implicit admission of guilt, but Nixon's post-resignation position was the one he made famous in his interview with David Frost:

          When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.

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