The Rev. Jesse Jackson recently called for President Obama to issue a blanket pardon to Hillary Clinton before he leaves office.
Speaking at Gerald Ford’s alma mater, the University of Michigan, on Wednesday, Jackson said that the sitting president should do this for Clinton just as Ford did it for Richard Nixon, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The paper reports that In 1974, President Ford issued a full and complete pardon of former president Nixon for any crimes he may have committed. Nixon resigned before he could be impeached for crimes uncovered during the Senate’s Watergate hearings. Ford said the pardon was in the best interests of the nation.
Though Jackson never said that Clinton did anything wrong, Jackson said that Obama could circumvent President-elect Donald Trump’s promised attempt to prosecute Hillary Clinton for use of a private e-mail server.
“It would be a monumental moral mistake to pursue the indictment of Hillary Clinton,” Jackson said. He said issuing the pardon could also help to heal the nation.
“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,” said Jackson.
He added: “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, who also met with student groups protesting Trump’s presidency, had some words of wisdom for the Michigan students:
“Don’t let them take your hope. Deep water doesn’t drown you. You drown because you stop kicking,” Jackson said. “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 violation of human rights.”