Donald Trump could possibly pardon himself, experts say
Trump has pardoned a number of people since taking office
Now that former Vice President Joe Biden has been widely recognized as the winner of the 2020 Presidential election, Donald Trump may soon again be an every day citizen of the U.S.
Because he may no longer protected as the commander-in-chief, he may have to face a number of lawsuits that are currently pending against him, according to The Independent. Some experts are saying that because this is a never-before-seen, unprecedented situation, Trump may be able to use his presidential powers to pardon himself.
Trump’s current lawsuits include a Manhattan district attorney case against him relating to hush-money payments doled out by his former lawyer Michael Cohen. Cohen, who made many illegal moves on behalf of the president, is currently serving a prison sentence at home due to COVID-19. He should be finished with his sentence next year, according to NPR.
According to CNN, Trump has New York, Maryland, and Washington, DC’s attorney generals probing his asset valuations and alleged emoluments, respectively. He also has two defamation suits to deal with, as well as a suit from his niece, Mary Trump, in regards to the estate of Fred Trump Sr., her grandfather, and the president’s father.
The president is no stranger to pardons as he has pardoned a number of people since joining office. Some of his pardons, including that of Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County Sheriff who was found to be in contempt of court due to his resistance to anti-racist regulations, have been controversial.
Others, like the pardoning of boxer Jack Johnson who violated the “White Slave Traffic Act,” have been celebrated by activists. Presidential pardons can be used to pardon past actions and any future actions.
“A full pardon essentially forgives a crime and eliminates all of the punishments, penalties and disabilities that flow from it,” wrote Paul Callan, a legal analyst at CNN.
When a president is preparing to leave office, he usually issues a number of pardons. Trump may be looking to give himself a full pardon for the current suits he is involved in, and any suits that come out in the future, which, according to The Independent is well within his rights.
One caveat is that although Trump may be able to pardon any federal charges against him, local and state charges will still stand.
During the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon stepped down as president, and as is procedure his Vice President Gerald Ford became the new commander-in-chief. Ford pardoned Nixon and set a precedent for pardoning procedures in the White House.
Whether or not Trump is willing to step down to ensure his freedom is yet to be seen, but his actions in the next few months will certainly be unprecedented.
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