Judiciary Hearing on Presidential Clemency Power

July 11, 2007
As noted when it was announced, the Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing, "The Use and Misuse of Presidential Clemency Power for Executive Branch Officials." Witnesses will include Ambassador Joseph Wilson; Roger Adams, US Department of Justice Pardon Attorney; Douglas A. Berman, William B. Saxbe Designated Professor of Law, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University; Tom Cochran, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Middle District of North Carolina (Attorney for Vincent Rita, Rita v. US); David Rifkin, partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP, former Justice Department official during the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations.

Watch the hearing live >>

Chairman John Conyers gives opening remarks:

Chairman Conyers:

"There are few principles in our society more important than equal justice under law. The idea that no man or woman is above the law is firmly embedded in our nation's founding documents, and underlies the entirety of the criminal justice system. When clemency is granted outside the normal pardon system, in particular when it's issued to members of the President's own administration, that fundamental construct is called into question."

Ambassador Joseph Wilson gives opening testimony:

Ambassador Wilson:

"Ultimately this concerted effort to discredit me, ruining my wife's career along the way has had a larger objective. This matter has always been about this administration's case for war and its willingness to mislead the American people to justify it."