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Hutchinson: ‘Inappropriate’ GOP Presidential Candidates Promising Trump Pardons


GOP presidential candidate former Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that it was “inappropriate” Republican presidential candidates are promising to pardon former President Donald Trump.

Partial transcript as follows:

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. Well, I want to ask you about a number of things in terms of who else is in this race, you have already called on Donald Trump to drop out. You’ve been saying that for some time. Now, he’s not taking your advice. And now we have these new charges on classified documents. Do you think he should be pardoned for the good of the country, as Ambassador Haley suggested?

ASA HUTCHINSON: No. First of all, that should not be any discussion during a presidential campaign. You don’t put pardons out there to garner votes. That is premature. Obviously, if there’s a conviction–

MARGARET BRENNAN: You think that’s what she’s doing?

ASA HUTCHINSON:  Well, I think that anybody who promises pardons during the presidential campaign is not serving our system of justice well and it’s inappropriate.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You are unique as a Republican candidate, because while many of the Republicans on the trail are using this phrase, “weaponization of the justice system,” you are avoiding that. And in fact, you have put forward a plan to overhaul federal law enforcement agencies. The Washington Post editorial board came close to endorsing it just a few days ago saying the idea should be taken seriously. Explain this approach?

ASA HUTCHINSON: Well, our justice system is the envy of the world. It’s what sets our democracy apart, that we’re under the rule of law. And if you undermine that system of justice, then you’re undermining our democracy. And it’s a human system, so there’s going to be flaws in it that you’ve got to correct and adjust. And so mistakes are made. And I don’t like the way the Justice Department has handled the Hillary Clinton case. I think there’s been errors that they have made in their investigations that was found in the Durham report. But let’s address this by reform. And that’s why I put out the reform proposal to reduce the jurisdiction of the FBI to make them more accountable, more focused in their missions, and their national security responsibilities. So let’s reform it, let’s make it accountable. And that’s the approach we- we should take. As a party is about the rule of law and supporting our system of justice.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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