Hypothetical: should the President be able to pardon himself?

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  1. Credence2 profile image79
    Credence2posted 2 years ago

    An excerpt from an interesting article I was reading..

    "It would tie the originalists in knots. The text of the Constitution is clear: The president can issue pardons for crimes against the United States. There are no exceptions or footnotes. Just relying on the text, it is clear that self-pardons are allowed. However, at the time the Constitution was written, the framers had just fought a war with a king whose motto was: "The king can do no wrong." Clearly if the president could pardon himself, he could commit any federal crime he wanted to and then pardon himself. The president would then be a king. That is very clearly not what they had in mind. So the textualists on the Court will have to decide if what counts is the text or the obvious intention of the authors."
    So for you "original intent" conservative "no legislate from the bench crowd", does this aspect of the Constitution require interpretation as I certainly would not think that the drafters had intended anyone, in principle, to be above the law?

    Your thoughts, please...

    Just an idea for the title of Trump's newest book, "From the White House to the Big House"

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      First, a president cannot pardon a crime; only a criminal.

      Second, a president cannot pardon a person for a crime they did not commit.

      In my view, that means that they cannot pardon a person until convicted...and a sitting president has not been convicted.  I would have real difficulty in interpreting the Constitution's wording to include any future crimes, and that includes pardoning the sitting president from future convictions.  I cannot believe that the writers had that in mind when they wrote the law.

      So, it would have to be Biden pardoning Trump, or some other future president.

      1. Credence2 profile image79
        Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks, Wilderness, well said. That makes a lot of sense.

        After all, if Nixon could have pardoned himself, he would have. That is why Gerald Ford issued the pardon after Nixon's resignation.

      2. crankalicious profile image92
        crankaliciousposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Another scenario that has been tossed out is Trump resigning and then Pence pardoning Trump from future prosecution.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Again, I just don't see the possibility of pardoning someone for what they have not done.  And, as innocence is presumed, they haven't "done" it until proven guilty.

          Pence could pardon Trump, as I see it, ONLY if he has been convicted.  Not before.

      3. Sharlee01 profile image85
        Sharlee01posted 2 years agoin reply to this

        If the FBI got moving on the Bobulinski accusations, maybe Trump could pardon Joe Biden.  I would say this poor old guy has served his country enough, and it would be a kind thing to do.


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