In the immediate aftermath of the announcement Tuesday that President Barack Obama would be commuting the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, Neil Cavuto and his "Your World" guest Larry Sabato commented on the irony of the entire situation.

Manning is a U.S. Army private imprisoned for leaking sensitive information to WikiLeaks. Meanwhile, it was WikiLeaks that allegedly played a role in Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's loss in the election.

"Can I just point out an irony here? The president has just pardoned Chelsea Manning who leaked some very important confidential secrets that hurt the United States to WikiLeaks. Now WikiLeaks played a role, you could argue whether it was major or minor, in defeating his (Obama) candidate for president, Hillary Clinton," said Sabato, a professor at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

"The irony of this is stupefying," Cavuto replied.


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Manning had been facing a 35-year prison sentence but now is set to be released as early as May of this year.

Sabato said some presidents tend to save their most controversial commutations and pardons for the waning days of their presidency, for example President Bill Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich on his very last day in office on Jan. 20, 2001.

"A president has the pardoning power literally until noon, exactly noon, on January 20," he said. "A president could be sitting on the inaugural platform signing commutations or pardons, and it would be constitutional. All presidential powers remain with the incumbent president until noon on the day his successor is sworn in."

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