Will Donald Trump Try To Pardon Himself?

Will Donald Trump Try to Pardon Himself?

Confused senior citizen and Donald Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani had lots of contradictory things to say about his client last Sunday. He asserted that Mr. Trump couldn’t be indicted even if he shot James Comey, then talked about presidential pardon powers.

President Trump probably has the power to pardon himself, said Mr. Giuliani, but of course he would never do such an “unthinkable” thing. On the other hand, telling Donald Trump not to do something is best way of convincing him to do it. For now, Mr. Trump claims he has the “absolute right” to pardon himself, but doesn’t have to, because he has “done nothing wrong.”

So can a president pardon himself? Legal opinions differ, but  Laurence H. Tribe, Richard Painter and Norman Eisen make a good case against it, based in part on the DoJ’s Office of Legal Counsel 1974 opinion during Nixon’s Watergate crisis, citing “the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case,” a view taken by James Madison in the Federalist Papers, No. 10.


“President Trump is considering pardoning himself. I asked 15 experts if that’s legal.” Sean Illing, Vox.

“Go deeper: What we know about Trump’s self-pardon power,” Stef W. Kight, Axios

“Could Trump pardon himself? No president ever has, and legal opinions are mixed,” Kurtis Lee, Los Angeles Times

“Could Trump Pardon Himself? Probably Not,” Nina Totenberg, NPR News

“The DOJ ruled 44 years ago that the president cannot pardon himself,” Summer Meza, The Week

“Pardon Me: The Constitutional Case Against Presidential Self-Pardons,” Brian C. Kal, Michigan State University College of Law


“‘A tremendous abuse’: Senate Republicans warn Trump not to pardon himself,” Seung Min Kim, Washington Post

“GOP, Trump at odds on pardon power” Alexander Bolton, The Hill

“If Trump was ‘dumb enough’ to pardon himself, he’d be impeached within a week, Newt Gingrich says,” Summer Meza, The Week

“Democrats warn Trump on pardon powers: ‘You are not a king,’” Kyle Cheney, Elana Schor, Louis Nelson, Cristiano Lima, Politico

“Ryan Says ‘Obviously’ Trump Shouldn’t Pardon Himself: ‘No One Is Above The Law,’” Matt Shuham, TPM Livewire

“Late-night comedians on Trump’s self-pardoning claim: ‘It’s like sneezing and then saying bless you to yourself,'” Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post


“Trump says he’s ‘not above the law’ but insists he can pardon himself,” Cristiano Lima, Politico


“What GOP cowering has gotten us: Talk of self-pardon and absolute power,” Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

“It’s not normal: Trump’s obstruction and pardon moves,” Jonathan Swan and Mike Allen, Axios

“Would a Former President Get Secret Service Protection in Prison?” Daniel Engber, Slate


Shortlink: https://wp.me/p6sb6-rIE

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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