The feds would like to have a little chat with former Kentucky GOP Gov. Matt Bevin about his pay-for-play pardons and twisted exonerations of child molesters, among other things.
The FBI is asking questions about the pardons Matt Bevin issued during his last weeks as Kentucky governor, The Courier Journal has learned.
State Rep. Chris Harris, D-Forest Hills, told reporters that a criminal investigator contacted him last week and asked what he knew about Bevin's pardons.
Harris did not elaborate on what questions were asked, and he declined to say which law enforcement agency contacted him.
"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. "The impression I got is that there was an investigation ramping up."
Two sources with knowledge of the inquiry told The Courier Journal on Monday that an FBI agent had spoken with Harris. An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment, saying the agency could "neither confirm nor deny the existence of said investigation" when reached late Monday night.
Bevin has received national criticism for pardoning or commuting the sentences of more than 650 people following his failed reelection bid in November.
State prosecutors and leaders such as U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have condemned several of Bevin's decisions, particularly his pardon of Patrick Baker, who had servedtwo years of a 19-year sentence for reckless homicide and robbery in the slaying of a Knox County man in front of his family.
The Courier Journal reported on Dec. 11 that Baker's brother held a campaign fundraiser at his home for Bevin in July 2018 that raised $21,500. The former governor also received a letter from business executive Terry Forcht, one of the state’s Republican mega-donors, urging Bevin to pardon Baker.
Forcht has given at least $2.8 million to state and national political causes in the last 40 years, including more than $100,000 to Bevin's campaign and inauguration funds.
Bevin has welcomed an investigation and denied political gifts had anything to do with his pardons.
I'd love to see Bevin in prison over this, it would be the perfect end to the Bevinstan era. We'll see what happens, but even Mitch McConnell is horrified by such obvious criminality (or more correctly he's horrified at Bevin getting so easily caught).
Here's to you, Matt. Enjoy the hoosegow.