The White House says that there are procedures to follow in considering any request or suggestion for a presidential pardon, and that’s what is going on right now in the case involving Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, two U.S. Border Patrol agents sentenced to prison for shooting at a fleeing drug smuggler.
The comments came in response to questions from Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House, about the case following a beating Ramos suffered allegedly at the hands of illegal aliens being held in the same prison where he is.
“The Fort Worth Star Telegraph quotes President Bush of Fox TV network as saying that he is bound by strict federal guidelines on pardons, and cannot immediately grant a pardon to Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean because, quote, ‘there is a series of steps that are analyzed in order for the Justice Department to make a recommendation as to whether or not a president grants a pardon,’” Kinsolving said.
Then he asked: “Was this series of analyzed steps followed when President Jerry Ford pardoned President Nixon even before he was tried; when President Carter pardoned all those draft resisters?”
“What you’re asking is, should the president waive standard procedures in this case,” Snow said. “And the answer is, no, we want to be careful about issuing pardons, and we’re trying to be careful about the facts, which is why the Department of Justice is in the process of trying to get full transcripts of the trial of Agents Compean and Ramos, so you and everybody else who are willing to ask questions about this will be armed with facts.”
The two agents encountered a situation in which they suspected illegal activities, and ended up firing shots at a man who turned out to be a fleeing drug smuggler. The U.S. attorney filed charges against the officers, and brought the smuggler back from Mexico, giving him immunity, in order to testify against the officers.
“Page one of The Washington Times quotes Texas Republican Congressman Ted Poe, who deplored the conviction of Texas Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez, who fired shots at a fleeing vehicle with illegal aliens, saying, ‘This is another example of how the federal government is more concerned about people who are illegally invading America than it is about the men who protect America.’ And my question:” Kinsolving said. “Does the president believe that Texas Republican Poe, another Republican congressman, and hundreds of thousands of petition signers on this issue are all wrong?”
“I think what the president has done is spend more money on border security than any president in American history,” Snow responded.
WND also has reported on the case involving Hernandez, who like the two border agents, went solo against a crowd of illegal aliens, and ended up as a defendant in the case.
Snow also had a statement prepared for yet another question from Kinsolving, this one involving reports from the Yazoo City Federal Correctional Complex in Mississippi about a beating Ramos suffered – allegedly at the hands of illegal aliens also in the prison with him.
“What is the president’s reaction to this, since he refused thousands of requests to pardon this man?” Kinsolving had asked.
“Here’s a statement from Charles Smith, who represents the institution, and here’s their report: ‘On February 3rd, 2007, at approximately 10:15 p.m., inmate Ignacio Ramos, an inmate incarcerated at the federal correctional complex in Yazoo City, Mississippi, reported to staff that he had been assaulted. Mr. Ramos was evaluated by medical staff at the institution, who determined he had sustained some bruises and abrasions.
“The injuries sustained were minor in nature. Inmate Ramos was subsequently placed in the special housing unit, pending a thorough investigation of the incident. He will remain in the special housing unit until the conclusion of this investigation,” Snow continued. “No further information is available at this time.”
WND had reported on that beating a day earlier, when Ramos’ wife and father-in-law told WND the former agent said the assailants “got me pretty good.”
He reported being assaulted by five Hispanic men with steel-toed boots.
“They kicked me in the head, they kicked me all over the body. I’m all bruised and very sore,” Ramos reportedly said, adding he bled from his left ear.
“No security came to his rescue,” the jailed Border Patrol agent’s wife told WND. “Another inmate came and got him and said, ‘Hey, dude, let me help you up.’ The other inmate walked my husband over to security.”
Patti Compean, wife of imprisoned agent Jose Compean, told WND her husband was in a different prison, still in solitary confinement.
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