Rev. Jesse Jackson has called for President Obama to issue a blanket pardon to Hillary Clinton before he leaves office, just like Ford did for Richard Nixon.
He said this while speaking to thousands of students in an anti-racism rally at the University of Michigan on Wednesday. Rev. Jackson called for the pardon because of President-elect Donald Trump’s statement that he would prosecute Hillary Clinton for use of a private e-mail server if he won the election.
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“It would be a monumental moral mistake to pursue the indictment of Hillary Clinton,” Jackson said. He added that issuing the pardon could help heal the nation, like Ford’s pardon of Nixon did.
He went on defending Clinton stating, “Hillary Clinton has not been tried, but there are those who want to drag her for the next three years. It will not stop until they find a reason to put her in jail. That would be a travesty.”
Jackson proceeded to undermine Trump and his administration while a large crowd of students, faculty and administrators gathered at a daylong celebration of his career. He said, “President Ford said we don’t need him for a trophy. We need to move on. President Nixon wasn’t convicted of a crime. He didn’t apply for a pardon. (Ford) did it because he thought it would be best for the country.”
Jackson is referring to President Ford who in 1974 issued a full and complete pardon of Nixon for any crimes he may have committed. He said the pardon was in the best interests of the nation. The White House and their officials have not declared if they plan to pardon Clinton or not.
President-elect Trump cited during the election that, if elected, he would assign a special prosecutor to investigate Mrs. Clinton. The real kicker was when Trump informed Clinton during the third debate “you’d be in jail” if he were president.
Trump supporters commonly echoed this sentiment as “Lock her up!” became one of the most popular chants at Trump rallies, where he would occasionally join in.
Jackson concluded his speech by trying to keep the students’ spirits high. He said, “Students, don’t let them take your hope. Deep water doesn’t drown you. You drown because you stop kicking. There is a tug of war for the soul of America. Do we want to be an aristocracy or a democracy? To be silent is to betray your conscience. You must not be silent in the face of the violation of human rights.”