Politico

Disgraced former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone was recently sentenced to three years and four months of prison after a lengthy and often chaotic trial for numerous felonies, including obstruction of justice and witness tampering.

Now, a partial video of Stone's deposition is making the rounds.

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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 03: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters while hosting Slovak Republic Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini in the Oval Office at the White House May 03, 2019 in Washington, DC. Pellegrini's visit is part of the Trump Administration's larger diplomatic attempt to compete with Moscow and Beijing in Central Europe. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

If you're wondering why President Donald Trump is planning to pardon three alleged war criminals, you likely have Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth to thank.

Two days ago, the New York Times reported that "the Trump administration had made expedited requests this week for paperwork needed to pardon the troops on or around Memorial Day." Those troops include Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher of the Navy SEALs, who has been accused of shooting unarmed civilians - including a young girl - and murdering a suspected Al Qaeda prisoner.

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U.S. President Donald Trump gestures toward journalists shouting questions as he departs the White House May 29, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In the United States, the pardon power for federal crimes is granted to the president by the Constitution. It states the president "shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment".

So far, President Donald Trump has pardoned five people. By comparison, President Barack Obama pardoned 212 people in his 8 years in office. President George W. Bush similarly pardoned 200. But most of the prior two presidents' pardons went to relative unknowns.

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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 14: U.S. President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn of the White House before his departure to Walter Reed Medical Center on May 14, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump is visiting first lady Melania Trump who is being treated for a kidney condition at the hospital. (Photo by Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty Images)

President Trump’s administration continues to polarize government officials all over the country. On April 18th, New York’s Attorney General asked Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislators for the power to ignore presidential pardons issued by Trump.

At that time, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman urged the governor and state legislative leaders to eliminate a standing loophole that exists in New York double jeopardy law. As it currently stands, the law shields individuals who have received presidential pardons from state prosecution. However, on May 7th, Schneidermann resigned as Attorney General, in response to four women accusing him of abuse.

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Алексей М https://www.flickr.com/photos/150500485@N06/

President Trump's presidential power to pardon anyone for any federal crime has been his get-out-of-jail-free card ever since Robert Mueller's Russia probe investigation began. Just as he has pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, this executive power dangles in front of anyone close to him who might be tempted to cooperate with the investigation out of fear of prosecution.

Mueller is now circumventing the president's reach by taking his investigation to the state level, where the presidential pardon cannot follow.

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Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden is interviewed by The Guardian in his hotel room in Hong Kong...Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden is seen in this still image taken from video during an interview by The Guardian in his hotel room in Hong Kong June 6, 2013. Snowden was on July 24, 2013 granted documents that will allow him to leave a Moscow airport where he is holed up, an airport source said on Wednesday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking details of U.S. government intelligence programmes, was expected to meet his lawyer at Sheremetyevo airport later on Wednesday after lodging a request for temporary asylum in Russia. The immigration authorities declined immediate comment. Picture taken June 6, 2013. MANDATORY CREDIT. REUTERS/Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras/Courtesy of The Guardian/Handout via Reuters (CHINA - Tags: POLITICS MEDIA) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. MANDATORY CREDIT

[DIGEST: Motherboard, TIME]

This week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) joined several prominent human rights organizations––including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International––to launch a formal campaign asking President Obama to pardon National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Snowden has been living in an undisclosed location in Moscow and has sought asylum elsewhere since leaking classified information about the NSA’s mass surveillance programs in 2013. The campaign kicked off two days before the premiere of Oliver Stone’s film, Snowden. The human rights organizations created the website Pardon Snowden to promote the case for Snowden across the nation.

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