The other night I covered the pardon problems of Mike Huckabee and Tim Pawlenty. Now a new GOP pardon problem comes to life. This one doesn't involve a presidential candidate, but rather a former President and aTea Party darling:
Though it’s typically pardon-empowered governors who must fret about their felons in the closet, legislators can also have some cause for worry. Case in point: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who might need to explain her support for a pardon for a donor named Frank Vennes.
Vennes was convicted in 1988 on money-laundering charges, and pleaded no-contest to illegally selling a gun and aiding in a cocaine sale. He claimed he discovered religion while in prison, and went on to become a well-known donor - in fact, he was a top giver to Bachmann’s 2006 congressional campaign.
She reportedly wrote in a pardon letter to then-President George W. Bush in 2007, “Mr. Vennes is truly a unique man in that he is not asking for a pardon that he may achieve personal success. By the grace of God, this has been done. Mr. Vennes is seeking a pardon so that he may be further used to help others.”
Well, that depends on the meaning of helping others—in 2008, the feds raided Vennes’ home as part of a probe into a massive Ponzi scheme.
Vennes was indicted a few weeks ago. Bachmann also wrote another letter saying she acted to "hastily".
Luckily Vennes is a white-collar criminal. Could you imagine if he was a murderer or rapist? I'm sure that wouldn't have mattered to Bachmann, as the almighty dollar outweighs anyones safety.