Trump gives the Hammonds a Jubilee on July 9/10
Jul 11, 2018
President Trump surprised everyone when he pardoned Dwight Hammond and his son Steven after their conviction in a so-called “arson” case in Oregon.
As ranchers, they started backfires, one to burn off juniper trees that suck water from the grass (which is a normal and sensible practice) and the other backfire to save their ranch after nearby lightning strikes threatened them.
The fires burned small parts of land owned by the Federal Government. Ridiculous charges of “arson” were filed against them with mandatory sentences of five years in prison. The judge threw out most of the charges and rejected the idea that they had committed arson, sentencing them to 3 months and 1 year in prison. However, a Federal appeals court re-imposed the longer sentence later.
Trump pardoned them on the night of July 9/10, giving them their Jubilee. Here is the story:
Presidents have a nasty habit of issuing a bunch of last-minute pardons to their big donors who have been charged with very serious crimes. They issue these just before they leave office, because they never have to face the voters on those issues. The gross misuse of such pardons are a serious blot on the American system of justice.
Contrast this with President Bill Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich at the last minute on January 20, 2001 as he was leaving office. Marc Rich was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list since 1983, and he was about to be indicted by Rudy Giuliani of New York. Marc and his wife, Denise, escaped on a plane to Europe just before the indictments were issued. The Swiss government refused to extradite them.
Eventually, Marc Rich bribed the Clintons with millions of dollars in campaign contributions to secure Bill Clinton’s pardon. Here is the full story: