It was July of 2017 when Trump tweeted that he had unlimited pardon power. It’s only June of 2018, but Trump has tweeted again that he has the “absolute right” to pardon himself. He declared that the right to pardon was “ABSOLUTE.” If the right is “absolute” he can pardon himself for any crime, committed at any time, for any reason…or for no reason at all.
Remember when Donald Trump declared that he could shoot someone and nobody would care?
Now that he’s the President, Trump has declared that he is given the unbridaled power to pardon himself. The Donald asserted that he has the “absolute right” to pardon himself. The absurdity of that position is best illustrated by the list of crimes that Trump could committ if allowed to pardon himself. He could murder his wife. He could drag a homosexual person behind a car until dead. He could molest and torture a child. He could torture an elderly man. He could rape a young girl leaving her unable to have children. He could drop a nuclear bomb on Mexico as his way of limiting illegal immigration. He could imprison medal of honor winners because he was fearful that the publicity might go to their heads. The list of horrible offenses is limitless. Of course the United States of America would never tolerate any person committing such outrageous crimes without being held accountable.
Rudi Giuliani, Trump’s attorney, has said that he has never known Trump to be inappropriate with any woman. If he had Giuliani asserts he could pardon himself.
Trump exercised his power to pardon last week for a sixth time, for conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, who was convicted of making an illegal campaign contribution. In a tweet, Trump said D’Souza “was treated very unfairly by our government!”
A Justice Department memorandum from 1974 — shortly before the resignation of President Richard Nixon — asserted that the president did not possess such a power.
“Under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, the President cannot pardon himself.”
For anyone to assert that Trump can pardon himself is ludicrous. The United States Constitution limits the power of the President in the following specific ways:
- The president cannot fire justices from the Supreme Court
- Congress has the sole power of declaring war
- Congress can override presidential vetoes
- The Supreme Court can rule laws and actions by the president (and Congress) unconstitutional
- The president can only nominate individuals for various government posts
- The president can only serve two terms
- The Constitution allows for and outlines impeachment proceedings for the president
To suggest that the President could pardon himself would be contrary to the United States Constitution, … to anyone’s definition of morality, and … to common sense.