Will Bush Pardon High-Profile Figures?

George Terwilliger, a lawyer for Gonzales, released a statement saying, "There is no basis to even suggest that a pardon is needed for anything. What is needed is for the Justice department to bring those matters to a rapid close because doing otherwise would be unconscionable continuation of a fully and publicly reported investigation that showed no wrongdoing by the former Attorney General whatsoever. It is time for this to end."

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., introduced a resolution last month demanding that Bush refrain from issuing pre-emptive pardons for senior intelligence officials who may have "committed crimes involving the mistreatment of detainees, the extraordinary rendition of individuals to countries known to engage in torture, illegal surveillance of United states citizens, unlawful leaks of classified information, obstruction of justice, political interference with the conduct of the Justice Department and other illegal acts."

"The Constitution allows a pre-emptive pardon," says Berman. "Ford pre-emptively pardoned Nixon, Carter pre-emptively pardoned the Vietnam draft dodgers. Those examples show case that politics may justify a pardon for the sake of some national peace, as much as there is a risk that a preemptive power will create political controversy."

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