A domestic intelligence and security service will examine the clemencies by one of Kentucky’s most influential former state executives granted while in public office.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has asked the FBI to investigate the pardons by former Republican Gov. Matt Bevin allegedly approved before his term ended in late 2019.
“While Kentucky’s Constitution gives the governor the power to pardon a person convicted of a crime, I believe the pardon power should be used sparingly and only after great deliberation with due concern for public safety,” Cameron said in a letter to state Rep. Chris Harris and Sen. Morgan McGarvey who are both Democrats according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. “I stand by the outstanding work of Kentucky’s prosecutors and respect the decisions of juries who convict wrongdoers.”
The announcement came after Harris and McGarvey formally asked the attorney general to conduct an investigation into the pardons. The pair thanked Cameron for making the request to the FBI.
“We want to thank Attorney General Cameron for formally requesting that the FBI investigate former Gov. Matt Bevin’s recent pardons,” Harris and McGarvey said according to the paper. “As we wrote in our letter to the attorney general last month, a governor may have broad pardoning powers but there must be further scrutiny by law enforcement when there is an appearance of impropriety or corruption.”
Bevin, who lost the 2019 election to Democratic candidate Andy Beshear, maintains his innocence and believes there was nothing wrong with pardoning or commuting the sentences of more than 650 people.
As previously reported by The BL the governor expressed great pride and excitement for the Bluegrass State’s “extraordinary” achievements in the past four years—a net increase of nearly 93,000 jobs according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“We now have the lowest unemployment ever, most people working ever, best workforce participation ever, best exports we have ever had, [the] most private capital being invested here [and] highest revenue the state has ever had,” Bevin said from his Louisville campaign headquarters on a Facebook video uploaded by Fox News. “Compare that to the previous eight years when we had a net loss of 12,000 jobs, so the point being the trajectory is changing, it is moving in a good direction.”
Despite the less than ideal outcome of the election, the incumbent hopes Beshear will continue this positive “trajectory” and give his blessing.
“I will be the first one in line wishing well to my opponent if he ends up as our governor because, guess what, we live here too and it affects us, our lives, and our livelihood,” Bevin said. “I would hope [every] person in this room here wants Kentucky to be the greatest version of itself possible, I really hope so.”
He also promised this would not be the last time voters hear from him even though not all incumbents who stood for re-election will return to their seats.
Bevin thanked his wife, children, and campaign team for their perseverance throughout the election campaign and his time in office.
“Hats off to all the wives and husbands of every single person who is a candidate, it is not easy, it is a grind and I love you, thank you truly I am grateful,” he said. “I also want to say thank you to my children because it is not easy for a child either. Thank you to my kids for putting up, you guys are awesome.”