Kentucky attorney general asks FBI to probe former governor's pardons

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) has asked the FBI to look into a series of pardons doled out by former Gov. Matt Bevin (R) at the end of his term last year. 

Cameron announced his intention to ask the FBI to investigate the pardons in a Monday letter to state Rep. Chris Harris (D) and state Sen. Morgan McGarvey (D), Harris said in a Thursday tweet. 

"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 wrote in the letter, which was posted in the tweet. 

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"I decided to send a formal request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate this matter," he added. 

Harris and McGarvey thanked Cameron in a joint statement

"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," they said. 

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Bevin pardoned or commuted the sentences of hundreds of people following his loss to current Gov. Andy Beshear (D) in November. 

After backlash, Bevin defended the pardons in a series of tweets last month. 

"The vast majority of those who were pardoned have actually been out of prison for years and had fully paid their debt to society,” he wrote. “The myriad of statements and suggestions that financial or political considerations played a part in the decision making process, are both highly offensive and entirely false.”

The Louisville Courier-Journal reported last month that the FBI was questioning the pardons