President Obama is not ruling out pardoning Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified material and issues related to fundraising with the Clinton Foundation, the White House indicated Wednesday.
Speaking hours after Donald Trump won Tuesday’s election, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the president never telegraphs when he plans to offer clemency or issue a pardon.
"That’s because we don’t talk about the president’s thinking, particularly with respect to any specific cases," Earnest told The Hill's Jordan Fabian.
Earnest said he hoped Trump would not pursue legal action against Clinton.
"What I would direct your attention to, though, is that the president’s observation that he made in the Rose Garden about the tone that President-Elect Trump displayed in his remarks last night, and that tone was consistent with the long-standing traditions of our democracy," Earnest said. "The president expressed hope that that kind of tone would continue. That’s relevant because we have a long tradition in this country of not — of people in power not using the criminal justice system to exact political revenge. In fact, we go to great lengths to insulate our criminal justice system from partisan politics."
When a reporter followed up, asking specifically whether Obama would rely on Trump not pursuing a case against Clinton, Earnest declined to answer, saying only "I’m not going to speculate about steps President-Elect Trump may choose to take. The president expressed optimism about the tone that President-Elect Trump used when the eyes of the world were on him. when he spoke last night as the president-elect the first time."