3 months ago
Regardless of what President Trump may believe to be true about his ability to pardon himself, there’s a debate currently brewing among scholars about whether or not he actually can do it.
The president’s constitutionally conferred power “to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment,” is explicitly written. One side points out, correctly, according to The Atlantic, that the wording of the Constitution limits the pardon power in only one respect—“cases of impeachment.”
The other side of the argument says, however, “that there is no mention of self-pardon in the framing or ratification debates, nor in the legal history of pardons.”
The timing of when a potential Trump self-pardon could take place plays a factor. One consistent argument against him is that he has — and continues to — obstruct justice. By firing Special Counsel Robert Muller and pardoning himself and his alleged co-conspirators,Trump will inevitably obstruct justice and commit a crime.
“Lawful acts can constitute obstruction of justice when done with a bad motive,” Samuel W. Buell, a former federal prosecutor who teaches a seminar at Duke University called “The Presidency and Criminal Investigations,” told The Atlantic.
“I don’t see why a pardon would be any different, if it’s done for the purpose of keeping the president from being held to account.”Read the full story at The Atlantic