The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

President Obama Pardons the MUN-13, Invites to White House

President Obama Standing Besides His Two Daughters Announcing the Pardon | Credit: Reuters


WASHINGTON In an announcement delivered by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, President Obama issued thirteen Presidential pardons to the thirteen students involved in MUN-gate, known by the press as ‘the MUN-13’. The White House stated: “The President has made criminal justice reform a key issue for this administration and has repeatedly stated ‘if congress doesn’t take meaningful measures to reform criminal justice, I will’, the President will not be deterred by congressional objections.” The move generated much response from both elected officials and Presidential candidate Donald Trump.


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The MUN-13, a group of thirteen Washington DC high school students, violated its 11:30 PM curfew during a New York City trip. The thirteen were reprimanded by the Washington International School, where they are currently studying. The executive order was harshly criticized by Senate judiciary committee chairman “Chuck” Grassley (R-IA) who protested the clemencies, saying: “This is a local issue to be decided by WIS. This is not a federal issue. The President cannot keep overstepping his powers.” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said: “This is a step in the wrong direction. The President wants to shove criminal leniency which is dangerous for America down the American people’s throats.”

Presidential candidate Donald Trump took shots at the President’s executive action at a rally in Cincinnati, saying : “We have a President who frees, these, frankly, thugs, these punks when he wouldn’t move a muscle to help our ambassador in Benghazi! 13 hours! I mean when Nabisco, Nabisco moved from Chicago to Mexico, where was the President?! I will be eating Hydrox from now on.” Donald Trump endorser New Jersey Governor Chris Christie added at that same rally: “This is a President who has been lawless since day one. He’s repeatedly thrown the Constitution in the trash, he and Hillary Clinton,” The Republican governor added, “As a former federal prosecutor, I can tell you that only Donald J. Trump can prosecute the case against the MUN-13, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s unlawful executive action and keep them out of the White House and in the big house,” referring to the President inviting the students to meet him and civil rights leaders in the White House.  

David Markus, the principal of the high school that sponsored the students’ trip to New York City declined to comment but Vice-Principal Robert Spezzano stated his disapproval of the President’s actions, commenting:

“While we appreciate the efforts the President is making to reform criminal justice, our priority is the safety of the students. We’ve added additional security measures and will be watching the thirteen closely.”

One of the MUN-13, WIS senior and ISU Presidential runner-up Alex Imbot spoke to Dateline. He had this to say: “I would like to express my gratitude to President Barack Obama for his clemency. He has compassion and has brought justice where there wasn’t any. Thank you.”

In a related matter, the newly-constituted WIS Honor Council is reportedly considering a proposal whereby students participating in field trips beyond a fifty-mile radius of the WIS campus will be required to wear ankle bracelets or similar monitoring devices. According to an honor council committee source: “we can’t afford another MUN-13.”


By Henri-Nicolas Grossman

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