Hillary Clinton could receive a last-minute presidential pardon—even though she hasn’t been officially charged with a crime.
Asked Wednesday at a press briefing, White House press secretary Josh Earnest refused to comment on whether President Obama had considered using the executive power to pardon. However, based on Earnest’s statement, it didn’t appear that Obama is ruling it out.
“The president has offered clemency to a substantial number of Americans who were previously serving time in federal prisons,” Earnest said after he was asked, according to the New York Post.
He added: “And we didn’t talk in advance about the president’s plans to offer clemency to any of those individuals and that’s because we don’t talk about the president’s thinking, particularly with respect to any specific cases that may apply to pardons or commutations.”
As the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump suggested that Clinton could be thrown in jail for the mishandling of classified emails on a private email server she used as Secretary of State.
Earnest continued: “We have a long tradition in this country of people in power not using the criminal justice system to enact political revenge. In fact we go a long way to insulate the criminal justice system from partisan politics.”
No charges have been filed against Clinton. In 1974, President Gerald Ford pardoned predecessor Richard Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while president. And former President Bill Clinton drew scrutiny in 2001 after he pardoned Marc Rich, a well-connected financer married to a prominent Democratic fundraiser.
Earnest praised Trump for his tone during his victory speech.
“I would direct you to the remarks the president made in the Rose Garden about the tone president-elect Trump displayed in his remarks last night,” Earnest said, per Politico. “And that tone was consistent with the long-standing traditions of our democracy and the president expressed hope that kind of tone would continue.”