The FBI is reportedly probing ex-Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's pardoning spree

Kathryn Krawczyk

Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's (R) late-term pardons aren't going unchecked.

After the Republican issued hundreds of pardons to incarcerated people across the state, people and reporters started asking why he'd included convicted murderers and rapists in the mix. Now, the FBI is looking into some of those pardons, and it seems an investigation is "ramping up," state Rep. Chris Harris (D) tells the Louisville Courier Journal.

Bevin lost a close race to now-Gov. Andy Beshear (D) last month, and then quickly commuted hundreds of convicted criminals' sentences — including one man who'd been convicted of rape, sodomy, and other sexual crimes involving young children and who'd only served two years of his sentence. When asked why he'd pardoned a child rapist on a radio show last week, Bevin asked "Which one?"

It now seems the FBI is asking questions too, with Harris telling reporters that "a criminal investigator contacted him last week and asked what he knew about Bevin's pardons," the Courier Journal writes. "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. The impression I got is that there was an investigation ramping up," Harris said. Two other sources with knowledge of the inquiry said the FBI has spoken to Harris. An FBI spokesperson declined to say if there was an investigation brewing.

Most of Bevin's pardons went to low-level drug offenders, CBS News notes, and activists argue they shouldn't be lumped in and criticized with the more controversial pardons.

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