Why Do Republicans Want to Give Nancy Pelosi the Pardon Power?

Dave Hoffman

Dave Hoffman is the Murray Shusterman Professor of Transactional and Business Law at Temple Law School. He specializes in law and psychology, contracts, and quantitative analysis of civil procedure. He currently teaches contracts, civil procedure, corporations, and law and economics.

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2 Responses

  1. Jack Stanton says:


    I am a bit perplexed by your post. Republicans attacking Pelosi probably care very little about the legal niceties. They care about draping the albatross of torture around Pelosi’s neck to damage Pelosi politically. They know that Pelosi is likely to remain in power as Speaker until Democrats start losing elections (and, were Obama reelected with a coattail effect, that could start in 2014), so I imagine they aspire to create a reverse Limbaugh effect: turn lying shrew Pelosi into the symbol of the Democratic Party, rather than super cool popular honest dude Obama. Pelosi the punching bag. Pinata Pelosi. It’s politics. Pelosi lies and smears our heroes of the CIA, our nation defenders, and the good guy Republicans are here to speak truth to powerful Pelosi and shame her into standing up for America. Look, in the sky. It’s a bird. A plane. No, It’s Jeb Bush in 2016.

  2. Adam says:

    “But the fact that a few members of Congress heard that we were engaging this activity is legally irrelevant to the agents’ and lawyers’ guilt.”

    That strikes me as entirely incorrect. As you noted, the legality of the interrogation techniques presents questions of law and fact. The fact that Pelosi and others in Congress may have agreed with the OLC’s legal analysis, or that they indicated no disagreement with the conclusion that the CIA’s actions in specific instances was not illegal strikes me as entirely proper reference points to note during a governmental investigation of the OLC’s analyses and the CIA’s actions. If the Executive Branch and Congressional leaders agreed as to the reasonableness of OLC’s legal analyses, then that should carry substantial weight in judicial-, congressional-, or other independent reviews.

    Also, you err in concluding that “the only questions remaining are (i) what is the intent requirement; and (ii) was the resulting mental harm ‘prolonged.'” Even if analysis of points (i) and (ii) resulted in the conclusion that CIA interrogations violated that statute, the question remains whether such a statute binds the Executive Branch in the context of the war — i.e., the much debated constitutional separation-of-powers question.