POLITICS | Can Anything Stop Trump From Pardoning His Family Or Even Himself?

President Donald Trump on Wednesday granted pardon to his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former adviser Roger Stones, sweeping away the most important convictions from U.S. Special Counsel Robert Muller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

So far, Trump, who has 27 days left in the White House until President – elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan.20, has issued 70 pardons since taking office.

The New York Times reported earlier this month that Trump had talked with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani about pardoning him, citing two people briefed on the matter. The Times also said that Trump has asked advisers about the possibility of ‘preemptively’ pardoning his three eldest children – Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump.

In 2018, Trump even said he had the ‘absolute right’ to pardon himself – a claim many constitutional law scholars dispute.

Here is an overview of Trump’s pardon power.

CAN A PARDON BE PREEMPTIVE?

Yes.

Most pardons are issued to people who have been prosecuted and sentenced. But pardons can cover conduct that has not resulted in legal proceedings, though they cannot apply to future conduct.

The Supreme Court said in 1866 that the pardon power ‘extends to every offense known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment’.

Most famously, former President Richard Nixon was preemptively pardoned by his successor Gerald Ford in 1974 for all crimes he might have committed against the United States while he was in office.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter preemptively pardoned hundreds of thousands of ‘draft dodgers’ who avoided a government – imposed obligation to serve in the Vietnam War.

ARE THE LIMITS ON A PRESIDENT’S PARDON POWER?

The pardon power, which comes from the U.S. Constitution, is one of the broadest available to a president. The nation’s founders saw the pardon power as a way to show mercy and serve the public good.

The president does not have to give a reason for issuing a pardon. In a 1981 case, the Supreme Court said pardons ‘are rarely, if ever, appropriate subjects for judicial review’.

The pardon power, however, is not absolute. Crucially, a pardon only applies to federal crimes.

COULD TRUMP PARDON HIS CHILDREN AND INNER CIRCLE?

It would be legal for Trump to pardon his inner circle, including members of his family.

In 2001, former President Bill Clinton pardoned his brother, Roger, who was convicted for cocaine possession in Arkansas. 

Clinton pardoned about 450 people, including a Democratic Party donor, March Rich, who had earlier fled the country because of tax evasion charges.

HOW BROADLY WORDED CAN A PARDON BE?

It’s unclear.

The pardon Nixon received from Ford was very broad, absolving Nixon for all criminal offenses he committed or may have taken part in during his presidency.

The U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on whether such a broad pardon is lawful. Same scholars have argued the nation’s founders intended for pardons to be specific, and that there is an implied limit on their scope.

CAN TRUMP PARDON HIMSELF?

There is not a definitive answer. No president has tried it before, so the courts have not weight in.

‘When people ask me if a president can pardon  himself, my answer is always, ‘Well, he can try’, said Brian Kalt, a constitutional law professor at Michigan State University. ‘The Constitution does not provide a clear answer on this’.

Many legal experts have said a self – pardon would be unconstitutional because it violates the principle that nobody should be the judge in his or her own case.

Trump could try to pardon himself preemptively to cover the possibility of prosecution for federal crimes after he leaves office. No pardon could protect him against prosecution for any crimes by a U.S. state.

For a court to rule on the pardon’s validity, a federal prosecutor would have to charge Trump with a crime and Trump would have to rise the pardon as a defense, Kalt said. 

UAE Names ADNOC Chief Jaber As COP28 Climate Conference President

PARIS, France – The United Arab Emirates said on Thursday that Sultan al – Jaber, the head of state oil giant ADNOC, would act as president of the COP28 climate conference it is hosting this year. Jaber, also UAE’s minister of industry and technology and its climate envoy, will help develop the COP28 agenda and…

Saudi Arabia To Host Pre-Pandemic Numbers For 2023 Haj Pilgrimage Season

PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia will remove COVID-19 restriction for the 2023 haj season and host pre-pandemic numbers of pilgrims, the kingdom’s ministry of haj and umrah said on Monday. In 2019, the last yeast before the pandemic struck, some 2.6 million people performed the haj. The kingdom allowed only limited numbers from its residents…

UAE President Congratulates Netanyahu On Inauguration

PARIS, France – United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al – Nahyan called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to congratulate him on his inauguration, the official Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Saturday. Netanyahu was sworn in as Israel’s prime minister on Thursday in a comeback at the head of a hard-right cabinet…

Former Pope Benedict Dies Aged 95

PARIS, France – Former Pope Benedict, who in 2013 became the first pontiff in 600 years to step down, died on Saturday aged 95 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican where he had lived since his resignation, a spokesman for the Holy See said. ”With sorrow I inform you that Pope Emeritus, Benedict…

Ronaldo Joins Saudi Arabian Club Al Nassr Until 2025

PARIS, France – Portugal capital Cristiano Ronaldo has joined Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr on a 2-1/2 year contract, the club announced on Friday, after leaving Manchester United to become a free agent. Ronaldo departed Old Trafford last month following an explosive television interview in which the 37-year-old forward said he felt betrayed by the…

Pele, Who Died At 82, Was A Sports Star And Cultural Icon

PARIS, France – The Brazilian soccer star said Andy Warhol told him that. It was a twist on something else the American artist is widely credited with saying, that ”in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”. Warhol made the soccer star’s portrait in 1977, and Pele took great pride in turning his…

Unemployment Among Saudi Citizens Increase To 9.9 In Q3/22

PARIS, France – Unemployment in Saudi Arabia among citizens increased to 9.9% in the third quarter, up 0.2. percentage points from the previous quarter but the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.9 percent, data released on Thursday showed. The rate of joblessness among citizens fell from 11.3% in the same period last year, however,…

Messi To Return To PSG In Early January, Says Galtier

PARIS, France – Lionel Messi will return to Paris St Germain at the beginning of January, the Ligue 1 club’s manager Christophe Galtier said on Tuesday. The Argentine forward, seven – times Ballon D’Or winner, scored two goals to lead his country to victory over France on penalties in the World Cup final nine days…

Iranian Woman Competes At Chess Tournament Without Hijab – Media Reports

PARIS, France – An Iranian chess player has taken part in an international tournament without a hijab, according to media reports, the latest several Iranian sportswomen to appear at competitions without one since anti-government protests began. Iran has been swept by demonstrations against the country’s clerical leadership since mid-September when 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Masha…

Qatar Reiterates Denial That Its Government Involved In EU Corruption Case

PARIS, France – Qatar reiterated on Sunday that the country denies any involvement in a corruption case being investigated by Belgian authorities involving people linked to the European Parliament. Belgian authorities have charged four people linked to the European Parliament over allegations World Cup host Qatar lavished them with cash and gifts to influence decision-making.…

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s