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Martin Kelly

Ford Pardons Nixon

By September 8, 2006

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On September 8, 1974, President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon of any wrongdoings in the Watergate scandal. The pardon actually came out less than a month after Nixon resigned the presidency. Quoting his official pardon: "It is believed that a trial of Richard Nixon, if it became necessary, could not fairly begin until a year or more has elapsed. In the meantime, the tranquility to which this nation has been restored by the events of recent weeks could be irreparably lost by the prospects of bringing to trial a former President of the United States."


May 14, 2006 at 1:41 am
(1) Longmemory says:

Republican Presidents have used their power to pardon in order to clamp the lid on scandals, even before any trial has occurred, the full evidence presented, or any determination of innocence or guilt has been made.

Most recently, in 1992, George Bush, Senior, pardoned Caspar Weinberger of charges of lying to Congress before his trial had occurred.

Bush did this to keep the lid on Iran-Contra details that would have likely embroiled himself and certainly other prominent Republicans.

According to the independent prosecutor, Lawrence Walsh, the trial would have revealed “evidence of a conspiracy among the highest ranking Reagan Administration officials to lie to Congress and the American public.”

And, as this article mentions, in 1974, Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon in order to avoid a trial on many charges related to felonious acts not simply limited to the Watergate cover up.

This tactic is, of course, a vile miscarriage of justice. In addition to allowing the guilty party to avoid responsibility for their criminal acts, it deprives American citizens of their fundamental right to fully know what their highest elected and appointed government officials have really done.

It’s one more glaring example of the Republicans’ consistent efforts to fundamentally subvert American democracy.

December 21, 2009 at 10:24 am
(2) Deanna says:

I think the pardon was the best thing nixon deserved it.

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