As published today in Townhall.com. Link and full text below.
Nancy Pelosi lied while leading the usual propagandists from the Clinton and Obama/Biden years in condemning President Trump for his executive clemency grant to Roger Stone.
Pelosi called it a “staggering act of corruption” and vowed legislation to curb the president’s ability to offer clemency in certain situations.
Adam Schiff told George Stephanopoulos, “I think anyone who cares about the rule of law in this country is nauseated by the fact that the president has commuted the sentence of someone who willfully lied to Congress…”
Failed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney condemned Stone’s clemency as “unprecedented, historic corruption.”
Bloomberg’s opinion page even called for Mr. Trump’s impeachment.
They know not what they do.
For over two decades, our family has attacked the very issues these so-called leaders whine about. I fought presidential clemency as it was happening and then introduced a bill to Congress, written to curb clemencies made to terrorists that were so egregious that they make this commutation look like Trump fixed Roger Stone’s parking ticket.
Seems old Nancy, Adam, Mitt and the media forgot that in August 1999, the Clintons/Eric Holder offered executive clemency (commuting sentences) to sixteen members of the infamous Marxist, Puerto Rican terrorist groups Los Macheteros and Armed Forces for National Liberation (together “FALN”), who murdered my father, Frank Connor.
Pelosi and friends somehow failed to mention that in his last days in office, President Obama handed a second clemency to FALN leader Oscar Lopez Rivera, who was so dedicated to his cause and his terrorist comrades that he refused the politically-motivated 1999 Clinton clemency grant!
The FALN waged war against America with over 120 bombings between 1974 and 1985. They murdered five, including my father, and wounded 60 on January 24, 1975, during the horrific lunchtime bombing of New York’s historic Fraunces Tavern. Fraunces was specifically chosen by the FALN, as it is the cradle of liberty in the United States. It is where Alexander Hamilton and the Sons of Liberty met. Its where General George Washington bade farewell to his officers after our war for independence was won.
The FALN terrorists were arrested, tried and convicted in the early 1980s, and sentenced in Chicago to appropriate prison terms of 55 to 90 years. At sentencing, they threatened to kill Judge McMillen.
None of the terrorists even requested clemency. So dedicated were they to their “war” against America and to creating a Cuba-like Communist Puerto Rico that none accepted the clemency, which included conditional renunciation of violence for a political cause and disassociation with other felons. None other than future AG Eric Holder engineered the politically-driven clemency to help Mrs. Clinton gain traction with Latinos for her upcoming 2000 NY Senate race. Although clemency is an individual grant, Holder and the Clintons allowed the terrorists 30 days to decide, during which they were allowed conference calls with each other between prisons!
On September 10, 1999, all but one FALN terrorist, Oscar Lopez Rivera, accepted the terms and walked out of prison, most to heroes’ welcomes. Lopez defiantly refused. As a small group of FALN victims and victims’ family members heard when we kept Lopez in prison at his 2011 parole hearing, and from his rhetoric since, Lopez refused clemency because he still believes in his cause and because his comrade, Carlos Torres (released in 2010), was not offered clemency in 1999. Lopez, who was sentenced to an additional 15 years for a violent escape plan (on top of his original 55 year term), revealed himself as an unrepentant terrorist captain, going down with the ship.
But that changed in January 2017, when Barack Obama, during his final days in office, offered an unprecedented second clemency to the unrepentant Lopez Rivera.
Since release, the terrorists have been treated as heroes by the Left and the media. Not only are they forgiven, but they’ve been treated as if they committed no crimes at all. In February 2017, Chicago named a street for Lopez, a man who terrorized Chicago.
New York Mayor DeBlasio attempted to honor Lopez with a “Freedom Hero” award at the 2017 Puerto Rican Day Parade until a small group of victims, family members and concerned citizens convinced all corporations, from Goya Foods to JetBlue and the New York Yankees, to pull their sponsorship. Today’s heroes of the Left, Black Lives Matter (the organization, not the truism), descend from these terrorists.
The Left’s hero, Lopez, has gone on the guest speaker circuit from Cuba and Venezuela to American Universities, such as Metropolitan State University in Minnesota and Hofstra on Long Island, railing against the United States for “colonizing” Puerto Rico, attempting to justify my father’s murder.
Only months after the 1999 Clinton clemency grants, in February 2000, in an attempt to end politically-driven clemency to terrorists or others by placing conditions on the president and pardon attorney, I introduced the Pardon Attorney Reform and Integrity Act to Congress. Despite its good intentions, the conditions placed on the president made it unconstitutional and the bill went down in committee.
Let me educate you, Madam Speaker and others. The presidential power of the pardon is absolute and unchecked. The founders struggled with conferring this power, but as Alexander Hamilton put it in Federalist 74: “The reflection that the fate of a fellow-creature depended on his sole fiat would naturally inspire scrupulousness and caution; the dread of being accused of weakness or connivance, would beget equal circumspection.”
You accuse Mr. Trump of “staggering, historic” connivance by commuting a 67-year-old’s 40-month sentence for non-violent crimes while ignoring Clinton and Obama’s unleashing of sworn terrorists on the American people. As I wrote in my testimony at Eric Holder’s Senate Confirmation hearing, by releasing terrorists, Holder and the Clintons played Russian roulette with the American people they were sworn to protect.
“Russian roulette,” Mr. Schiff, Madam Speaker. That phrase should ring familiar. Please look in the mirror and see yourselves.
Are you sure you can cast the first Stone?