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Report: FBI Asking Questions About Ex-Governor's Pardons

Sources: FBI agent contacted Ky. Rep. Chris Harris on Matt Bevin's controversial pardons
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2019 6:25 AM CST
Updated Dec 26, 2019 6:45 AM CST
Report: FBI Asking Questions About Ex-Governor's Pardons
Former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is seen in Frankfort, Ky., on Nov. 13, 2019.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

(Newser) – Members of the general public may not be the only ones wondering about the pardons Matt Bevin issued during his final days as Kentucky's governor. The more than 600 pardons and commutations—including for a convicted child rapist and for a man whose brother and sister-in-law held a fundraiser for Bevin—have also reportedly attracted the attention of the FBI, which is now poking around on the matter, two sources tell the Louisville Courier-Journal. Those sources, who are said to have "knowledge of the inquiry," say an FBI agent spoke to Kentucky Democratic Rep. Chris Harris. Harris himself told the paper he'd been contacted on Dec. 17 by a criminal investigator with questions about the pardons, though he didn't offer much more than that, including whether it was an FBI agent who spoke to him.

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"The impression I got is that there was an investigation ramping up," said Harris, who added he wasn't sure if an official probe was already underway or if "it may be just calling to see if there's anything there to warrant a full investigation." An FBI rep said she could "neither confirm nor deny the existence" of a probe. At a Dec. 12 presser, Harris had asked for one into the pardons—which Bevin started doling out after losing his reelection bid in November—some of which have earned criticism from fellow GOPers like Sen. Mitch McConnell. The Hill notes Bevin has defended the pardons and welcomes an investigation. "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 told the Courier-Journal. (Read more Matt Bevin stories.)

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