FSFP Board Chair Ben Clements recently authored an Oped on Trump’s unconstitutional commutation of Roger Stone’s prison sentence. The new piece comes after Free Speech For People filed a motion before the federal district court in U.S. v. Stone on behalf of constitutional law Professors Jed Shugerman and Ethan Leib seeking permission to submit an amicus brief arguing that the court should not automatically accept the executive grant of clemency but rather should consider whether it may be unconstitutional.

The following is an excerpt from Clements’ piece:

It’s not just common sense that the President cannot use the pardon power to carry out criminal activity; this principle flows directly from specific requirements set forth in the Constitution.  In the very clause establishing the presidency, the Framers included language making clear that the presidency is in effect a public trust and its powers must be exercised for the benefit of the public, not the personal benefit of the President.  Specifically, Article II of the Constitution provides that the President must “Take care that the Laws be faithfully exercised” and that the President must take an oath to “faithfully execute the office of the president.”

Granting a pardon for a completely unlawful and illicit purpose is antithetical to this obligation to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed.  In the case of Roger Stone there is ample public evidence — including public statements of both Stone and Trump — that his commutation was part of an illicit bribe: Stone agreed to protect the president by refusing to tell the truth, and even lying, to investigators.  And Trump agreed in exchange to protect Stone from the legal consequences.”

Read the entire piece here.