July 21, 2017

Could Trump pardon himself?

Sam Smith - The Washington Post has an interesting article on who Trump can pardon. The mere existence of this article points out something that isn't getting enough attention, namely that while Trump has not been charged with criminal activity, no president has raised so many legal and ethical questions about his activities. The typical honest person, for example, would not be so vigorously attacking those who are, in full respect for the law, investigating what he has been up to. If he has nothing to be ashamed of, he has nothing to worry about.

One of the points that the Post makes is that while whether the President can pardon himself is debatable, his pardon powers are limited to federal offenses: "If Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner were charged with sticking up a bodega in Queens, Trump couldn’t do much about it."

We have noted the likelihood that the Trump scandals would turn away from Washington and Russia towards matters occurring in New York. If, for example, Robert Mueller finds some state or city based crime and hands the case over to the NY Attorney General, the pardon powers become futile.

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