Trump and presidential pardons

There is no basis for anyone to get upset about the prospect of President Donald J. Trump ever pardoning himself; it cannot happen.  The Constitution makes it clear it can't happen.

The Constitution, in Article II, Section 2, states that the president has the "Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment [emphasis added]."

Clearly, the Constitution bars the president from pardoning himself in the impeachment context.  If the Democrats were to gain a congressional majority next November and threaten impeachment charges against President Trump, he would have no authority to pardon himself.  That is made apparent in Article II, Section 2.

Nor would the president have occasion to pardon himself in a judicial context, because it is an ex-president, not a president, who is subject to indictment, as Hamilton makes clear in Federalist No. 69.  Hamilton points out that there can be no occasion for a sitting president to face charges that can be brought "in the ordinary course of law."  Charges against the president are to be brought only in an impeachment context.  Thus, the issue of exercising the pardon power, as to the president, could not arise.  And an ex-president lacks any power to pardon.

Hamilton makes it clear that it is the ex-president who is subject to "the ordinary course of law."  And ex-presidents lack any power at all.  A pardon of an ex-president would be left to his successor to consider, as happened when President Gerald Ford pardoned, in futuro, ex-president Richard M. Nixon.

In any event, President Trump has not been shown to be guilty of any offenses against the United States – just against the denizens of the swamp for having dared to get elected.

There is no basis for anyone to get upset about the prospect of President Donald J. Trump ever pardoning himself; it cannot happen.  The Constitution makes it clear it can't happen.

The Constitution, in Article II, Section 2, states that the president has the "Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment [emphasis added]."

Clearly, the Constitution bars the president from pardoning himself in the impeachment context.  If the Democrats were to gain a congressional majority next November and threaten impeachment charges against President Trump, he would have no authority to pardon himself.  That is made apparent in Article II, Section 2.

Nor would the president have occasion to pardon himself in a judicial context, because it is an ex-president, not a president, who is subject to indictment, as Hamilton makes clear in Federalist No. 69.  Hamilton points out that there can be no occasion for a sitting president to face charges that can be brought "in the ordinary course of law."  Charges against the president are to be brought only in an impeachment context.  Thus, the issue of exercising the pardon power, as to the president, could not arise.  And an ex-president lacks any power to pardon.

Hamilton makes it clear that it is the ex-president who is subject to "the ordinary course of law."  And ex-presidents lack any power at all.  A pardon of an ex-president would be left to his successor to consider, as happened when President Gerald Ford pardoned, in futuro, ex-president Richard M. Nixon.

In any event, President Trump has not been shown to be guilty of any offenses against the United States – just against the denizens of the swamp for having dared to get elected.