More from legal scholar Jonathan Turley on the President’s ability to pardon himself. It’s a very interesting read.


440px-Official_Portrait_of_President_Donald_TrumpBelow is my column in USA Today on the assertion of President Donald Trump that he can pardon himself.  Since such an act would be the most profoundly disgraceful moment in the history of the American presidency, it is chilling to have a president to even engage in such a public debate.  However, I believe that such a power does exist in the Constitution. It is a long and unresolved debate that turns on how you interpret silence.  Since the Constitution is silent on any bar against a president benefitting from this power, I believe that a self-pardon is indeed constitutional, even if distasteful. 

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6 thoughts on “Trump Can Indeed Pardon Himself . . . And We Should Now Never Speak Of This Again

  1. From The Rutherford Institute: There Is No ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ Card for the President

    Back in 1974, four days before Richard Nixon resigned, the Department of Justice concluded, “Under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, the president cannot pardon himself.”

    To suggest otherwise, to empower the President to chart his own course and establish his own rules, not bound by the legislative or judicial branches of the government, is to effectively place him “above the law.”

    In operating above the law, the president thus becomes a law unto himself—a dictator, an imperial overlord, a king.

    Yet the United States government—a constitutional republic—is predicated on the notion that the law is supreme, and that no person, no matter how high-ranking, is able to flout it.

    In other words, in America, the law is king.

    That is the ideal that Thomas Paine put forth in his revolutionary treatise Common Sense. As Paine observed, “But where, say some, is the king of America? … The world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.”

    When we refer to the “rule of law,” that’s constitutional shorthand for the idea that everyone is treated the same under the law, everyone is held equally accountable to abiding by the law, and no one is given a free pass based on their politics, their connections, their wealth, their status or any other bright line test used to confer special treatment on the elite.

    When the government and its agents no longer respect the rule of law—the Constitution—or believe that it applies to them, then the very contract on which this relationship is based becomes invalid.

    Isn’t that what the American Revolution was all about?

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        • Anti-government gun nuts are expressing very different sentiments. They are not just opposed to ARBITRARY power as the founding fathers were, but to ALL external power. They want to be completely sovereign kings on their own private land. The founding fathers wanted to replace the British monarchy’s control over the American colonies with a new republic based on the rule of law.


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