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Can Trump Pardon Himself?

 
 
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neptuneblue
 
  3  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2020 08:06 am
Trump retweeted GOP ally Matt Gaetz calling for a pardoning spree including the president and his whole administration
Tom Porter 3 hours ago

President Donald Trump has retweeted a GOP ally calling for him to pardon "himself" and potentially more members of his administration before leaving office.

The post, on Wednesday from Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, said: "President Trump should pardon Flynn, the Thanksgiving turkey, and everyone from himself, to his admin, to Joe Exotic if he has to."

The words were a repeat of what Gaetz had said in a Fox News interview earlier that day.

"The Left has a bloodlust that will only be quenched if they come for those who fought with @realDonaldTrump to deliver for the American people," he continued.

Since Trump's defeat in the US election, there has been speculation he may take an unprecedented step and preemptively pardon himself before leaving office in January.

Trump has not been charged with any crimes but faces a slew of investigations when he leaves the White House, including a criminal investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance into his business affairs.

A presidential pardon would shield him only from federal investigations, not those being pursued by jurisdictions such as the one in New York.

The possibility that the president might seek to preemptively absolve himself has sparked debate among legal scholars over whether the move would be constitutional.

Some legal experts believe it would be struck down by the Supreme Court.

The only other president to have received a pardon was Richard Nixon, who got one from his successor, Gerald Ford, in 1974 after resigning over the Watergate scandal.

In his remarks, Gaetz appeared to be alluding to a New York Times report on Trump's decision to pardon his former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who admitted to lying to FBI agents about his contact with Russian officials.

Contrary to Gaetz's claim, President-elect Joe Biden has said he would not seek to use the Department of Justice to pursue investigations against Trump.

In its report, The Times noted speculation that the president would issue a series of pardons for former aides.

The Times also said Trump was being lobbied for a pardon by attorneys for Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic, who is serving a prison sentence and was the subject of the hit Netflix crime documentary "Tiger King."

Presidents traditionally reserve their pardoning powers for criminals who are deemed to have been victims of a miscarriage of justice.

But Trump has been accused of wielding the power to shield allies from punishment.

In July, the president issued a pardon for his former advisor Roger Stone, who had been convicted of crimes in connection with the Russia investigation.

https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-shares-tweet-saying-pardon-self-rest-of-his-admin-2020-11
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Walter Hinteler
 
  5  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2020 08:29 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
The prior ruling that you summarized is clearly wrong.
According to your legal expertise or has it been annulled?
Walter Hinteler
 
  5  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2020 08:30 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
Walter Hinteler wrote:
and would hamper his plans to run again for president in 2024.

It wouldn't hamper it even a little bit.
It certainly would hamper if there's only your expertise regarding the quoted ruling.

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Walter Hinteler
 
  4  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2020 08:34 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, the president cannot pardon himself, the Office of Legal Counsel wrote in August 1974.

I wonder about the competence of the person who wrote that.

Pardons are not a judicial function. Pardoning yourself is not making yourself a judge in your own case.
Since the OLC assists the Attorney General's position as legal adviser, they might certainly have less accademic, legal and judiciary experience than you've got.
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neptuneblue
 
  7  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2020 08:40 am
No, Trump Can’t Pardon Himself — Here’s Why
SARAH MIDKIFF
LAST UPDATED NOVEMBER 24, 2020, 4:38 PM

Donald Trump’s presidency is finally coming to an end. But one important question — other than whether Trump can run again in 2024 — is whether he is allowed to pardon himself from the litany of legal investigations and civil suits he faces upon leaving office. In case you need a reminder, Trump is currently under investigation for insurance fraud, criminal tax evasion, grand larceny, and a scheme to defraud. He is also still being sued by writer E. Jean Carroll for rape.

In part, many believe that Trump's disproven claims of election fraud are just a ploy to run the clock that will eventually land him behind bars. So the question is, what kind of power does the president really have to pardon himself? According to Article II of the Constitution, a sitting president “shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” That may sound like we have already answered the question; however, therein lies a small yet important technicality within that phrase that requires some unpacking. The operative word? Grant.

Because of this, we are actually asking the wrong question: It's not about whether Trump can pardon himself, but whether he can grant himself a pardon. This may sound like the exact same question but bear with us. According to context clues from the text of the Constitution and the word’s meaning at the time it was written, the answer is no. He cannot pardon himself. The president only has the power to grant pardons. For context, the same word appears multiple times in various clauses of the Constitution. Every time the word appears, "grant" is a transmissive term meaning it is from one entity to another, reports The Atlantic. It is not used reflexively as in “to grant oneself” a pardon — it is always used interpersonally.

Comparing a word to its uses in other instances within a historical or legal document is a common technique used by judges and legal scholars to surmise the intended meaning in context. If a court were to base its judgment solely on the context of the word in the Constitution, it would be reasonable to determine that the president cannot, in fact, grant himself a pardon.

But it probably wouldn’t be that simple. One of the most common legal interpretive methods, promoted by Justice Antonin Scalia and popularized among conservatives, is to look for a term’s “original public meaning.” This would involve looking at how everyday English speakers in the late 1700s would have understood the word should they have read it in a legal document.

To get an answer, one would have to look through legal dictionaries of the time. The most popular legal dictionary at the end of the 18th century was The Law-Dictionary: Explaining the Rise, Progress, and Present State of the English Law; Defining and Interpreting the Terms or Words of Art; and Comprising Copious Information on the Subjects of Law, Trade, and Government (give us a second to catch our breath). In it, the word grant has the singular definition of meaning “a deed which passes or conveys land from one man to another.” (Zoom in on “to another.”) Nowhere in that dictionary does it say that a person could grant something to themselves. Furthermore, the idea of a reflexive use of the term reportedly didn’t exist in popular language at the time.

So based on context clues from the original document, legal dictionaries in use at the time, and the development of the English language in the last few centuries, the seemingly inconsequential word “grant” might have just kept us away from an even more complicated end to Trump’s presidency.

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/11/10189741/can-trump-pardon-himself-president-legal-rule
farmerman
 
  5  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2020 09:33 am
@neptuneblue,
excellent. the very point of authorship v delivery
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Sturgis
 
  3  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2020 03:39 pm
@oralloy,
Quote:
...outlawing the Democratic Party will put a stop to their abuse of power.


It would however be an abuse to outlaw the Democratic Party.

Mind you, there was a clearly failed attempt back in the 1950s to ban and outlaw the Communist Party through the Communist Control Act.
They have survived and to this day run candidates for political positions on a regular basis.

Banning any political party as such, is not American.
RABEL222
 
  3  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2020 05:10 pm
If one had done nothing illegal why would they need a pardon? So far Trump has only pardoned those who have broken the law. If Trump attempts to pardon hissalf it will be an admission of guilt.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2020 06:09 pm
@RABEL222,
RABEL222 wrote:

If one had done nothing illegal why would they need a pardon? So far Trump has only pardoned those who have broken the law. If Trump attempts to pardon hissalf it will be an admission of guilt.

But, would that admission carry consequences?
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vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2020 11:31 pm
@oralloy,
Quote:
Since when have witch hunts ever cared about facts or evidence?
If they want to prove a charge - which I was obviously referring to

Quote:
They will have to wait even longer than that if he pardons himself while he is still president.
Which is why I said all they'd have to do is wait until he was no longer president.

By your replies, I'm not sure you bothered reading my post in it's short entirety.
oralloy
 
  -4  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2020 11:35 pm
@vikorr,
Progressives are happy to concoct fake evidence to convict innocent people. Note Scooter Libby for example. The absence of facts and evidence is no impediment to their witch-hunting.

If Mr. Trump pardons himself while he is president, he remains pardoned once his presidential term expires.
snood
 
  3  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2020 11:59 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

Progressives are happy to concoct fake evidence to convict innocent people. Note Scooter Libby for example. The absence of facts and evidence is no impediment to their witch-hunting.

If Mr. Trump pardons himself while he is president, he remains pardoned once his presidential term expires.


A Presidential self- pardon has never even been tested, but in any case,
He can’t pardon himself from state charges.
oralloy
 
  -4  
Reply Fri 27 Nov, 2020 12:04 am
@snood,
This is why we need to outlaw the Democratic Party. That will put an end to these abuses of power.
0 Replies
 
 

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