Democrats like Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff and Mitt Romney have been very critical of the pardon, but for some strange reason, they had no problem with Bill Clinton and Barack Obama pardoning terrorists. They also had no problem with Bill Clinton pardoning witnesses in his many scandals. Somehow they did not find it a problem when it was one of their own.
President Bill Clinton pardoned his own brother for felony distribution of cocaine. And a key witness in the Whitewater scandal for which he and Hillary Clinton were under investigation. And three others convicted in independent counsel Ken Starr’s probe. And Marc Rich, in what was a straight-up political payoff. And his CIA director. And his HUD secretary. And eight people convicted in an investigation of his Agriculture Department.
It seems like Clinton pardoned an awful lot of actual co-conspirators. And he pardoned them before they were tried, meaning they didn't get a chance to turn on Clinton in exchange for a lighter sentence. He was also willing to pardon Oscar Lopez Rivera, whose pro-Puerto Rican organization carried out 130 bombings. He offered him a conditional pardon. He would have to say he was sorry and promise never to do it again. Lopez turned down the offer because it wasn't offered to all FALN members.
Obama also commuted the sentence of a U.S. soldier who passed top-secret information to WikiLeaks. He pardoned his former Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman, who’d been convicted of making false statements about a leak of classified information to The New York Times.
And when he couldn’t get Congress to amend federal drug laws the way he wanted them amended, Obama used the pardon power to slash hundreds of sentences, under an executive initiative later sharply criticized by the Obama-appointed Justice Department inspector general.
That doesn’t even account for the Obama administration’s penchant for making sure things never got to the pardon stage by distorting the law to give Hillary Clinton — the same Hillary Clinton who was nearly indicted in the aforementioned Clinton-era scheme — a pass, asserting executive privilege to obstruct the Fast and Furious investigation (for which Obama’s attorney general was held in contempt of Congress), ignoring his CIA director’s spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and turning a blind eye to the abuses of power and obstructions attendant to the scandal that engulfed his IRS.