FBI looking into former Kentucky governor’s controversial pardons: report

The FBI is looking into the former Kentucky governor’s controversial pardons during his last weeks as governor, The Courier-Journal reported Monday.

State Rep. Chris Harris (D) told reporters that a criminal investigator contacted him regarding former Gov. Matt Bevin’s (R) last-minute pardons but declined to say what branch of law enforcement it was.   

“I can confirm that I have been contacted by someone looking into the pardons that were issued by Gov. Bevin on his way out the door,” he said, according to the newspaper. “The impression I got is that there was an investigation ramping up.”

Two sources with knowledge of the contact to Harris told the Journal that the state senator spoke with an FBI agent. 

The Hill reached out to the FBI for comment, which told the Journal that it could “neither confirm nor deny the existence of said investigation.” 

Bevin stirred up controversy when he pardoned more than 650 people after finding out he did not win reelection in the state, including a man serving a sentence for reckless homicide and robbery, whose brother ran a fundraiser for Bevin, the newspaper previously reported.

But the former governor has welcomed an investigation, saying the pardons had nothing to do with political influence. 

“If the truth comes out, there will be people involved in this process on the other side of the equation that have very good reason to be very concerned right now,” he said, according to the newspaper. “And some of them are the loudest people right now, and for good reason.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer: Newly released emails show importance of White House witnesses in Senate trial Republicans attack Pelosi for impeachment stalemate Senate Democrat: Pelosi ‘doing exactly the right thing’ withholding articles of impeachment MORE (R-Ky.) has called the pardons “completely inappropriate” and said he did not approve of the former governor’s actions.

Democratic candidate Andy Beshear won the Kentucky governorship and took over office in 2019.

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