Modern presidents aren’t the only ones to issue pardons that stirred controversy. As early as Washington, United States presidents have been issuing pardons. And not all of them were met with widespread approval…
Who pardoned him: Gerald Ford
What he was pardoned for: Involvement in the Watergate scandal
Why it was controversial: The Watergate scandal revealed that Nixon and his aides had not only participated in illegal activities during his re-election campaign, but they had attempted to cover it up. When Gerald Ford took office, he gave Nixon a full, unconditional pardon before he could even be indicted. The pardon was extremely controversial at the time, and widely condemned.