Sources tell New York Times Trump considering unprecedented move before he leaves office.
By World Israel News Staff
President Donald Trump has talked with some of his aides about issuing himself a presidential pardon before he leaves office, the New York Times reported Thursday.
Two people with knowledge of the discussions told the Times that Trump has had several conversations since the November 3 election, suggesting that he could take the step and asking how it would affect him legally and politically. However, it is unknown if Trump discussed the issue since the storming of the Capitol Building on Wednesday, the report said.
Presidents at the end of their term traditionally issue a slew of pardons, and Trump has already issued several including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Charles Kushner, father of Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Trump “has long maintained he has the power to pardon himself, and his polling of aides’ views is typically a sign that he is preparing to follow through on his aims … increasingly convinced that his perceived enemies will use the levers of law enforcement to target him after he leaves office,” the report said.
Following the attack Wednesday on the Capitol, Democratic Party leaders and some Republicans have called for Trump to be removed from office before president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20, either by having Republicans invoke the 25th amendment of the constitution claiming Trump is unfit for office, or by a Democratic-led impeachment.
However, both moves are doubtful given there are only 12 days left until the Biden inauguration, giving Trump time to issue more presidential pardons.
The report noted that no sitting president has ever pardoned himself, leaving a huge question mark over the legality of such a move that would immediately be tested by the courts.
“Presidential self-pardon could create a dangerous new precedent for presidents to unilaterally declare they are above the law and to insulate themselves from being held accountable for any crimes they committed in office,” the report said.
The subject is not new. Two years ago Trump tweeted about the possibility, but shunned it at the time saying there was no need.
“As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” Trump tweeted on June 4, 2018.