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Opinion Trump has the power to pardon himself, but that could get him impeached

18:21  07 june  2018
18:21  07 june  2018 Source:   foxnews.com

Trump lawyer Giuliani says president probably can pardon himself

  Trump lawyer Giuliani says president probably can pardon himself U.S. President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani said on Sunday the president probably has the power to pardon himself but does not plan to do so. Asked whether Trump has the power to give himself a pardon, Giuliani said, "He's not, but he probably does." Giuliani added that Trump has no intention of pardoning himself," but that the U.S. Constitution, which gives a president the authority to issue pardons, "doesn't say he can't."Giuliani said on ABC's "This Week" program, "It would be an open question. I think it would probably get answered by, gosh, that's what the Constitution says."© REUTERS/Leah Millis U.S.

President Trump said this week that he has the right to pardon himself from possible crimes related to Russian meddling into the 2016 elections. “He has no intention of pardoning himself ." Giuliani told ABC News, referring to President Trump . “It would be an open question. I think it would probably get

Yes, Donald Trump can pardon himself , but it would be a disastrous idea. Jonathan Turley, Opinion columnist Published 3:15 a.m. ET June 4, 2018 As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie© Provided by Fox News

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

President Trump said this week that he has the right to pardon himself from possible crimes related to Russian meddling into the 2016 elections. “I have the absolute right to PARDON myself,” the president tweeted. He then quickly assured us that he wouldn’t use that power.

“But why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” the president asked, taking the position that he has no need to pardon himself. He further tweeted that the Russia probe being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is “UNCONSTITUTIONAL.”

Christie: Trump would be impeached if he pardoned himself

  Christie: Trump would be impeached if he pardoned himself Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Sunday that President Trump would be impeached if he pardoned himself. "There's no way that will happen and the reason it won't is because it'll become a political problem," Christie told "This Week's" George Stephanopoulos.The Trump campaign surrogate added that Trump is "executing the pardon authority in a more aggressive way than most presidents have in the past."But he pushed back against arguments that the pardons are sending a signal that Trump is willing to pardon witnesses in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

Asked if that meant Trump has the power to pardon himself , the president’s attorney remarked that he “probably does”. The former New York Mayor and mob prosecutor has taken a leading role in defending Trump , sometimes with conflicting statements that get information out there but also

Now, Trump says, he has the power to keep himself out of jail if he wanted, declaring an “absolute right to So presidents get to do what exactly? Under the Constitution, the president has the But could Trump pardon himself ? Not surprisingly, that particular scenario has never been

President Trump’s comments followed arguments made over the weekend by his lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, who is the former mayor of New York City and a former U.S. attorney for New York. Giuliani said the Constitution allows the president to pardon himself.

“He has no intention of pardoning himself." Giuliani told ABC News, referring to President Trump. “It would be an open question. I think it would probably get answered by gosh, that's what the Constitution says, and if you want to change it, change it. But yes.”

A group of prominent lawyers, including Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School and former White House ethics czar Norm Eisen, immediately fired back.

“The Office of the President is not a get-out-of-jail free card for lawless behavior,” the lawyers wrote in a group letter. “Our Founders would not have created – and did not create – a Constitution that would permit the President to use his powers to violate the laws for corrupt and self-interested reasons.”

Trump: I have the right to pardon myself

  Trump: I have the right to pardon myself President Trump on Monday asserted his right to provide himself with a pardon, but insisted he won't need to do so because he has not done anything that would warrant one. "As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?" the president wrote on Twitter.

Giuliani: Trump probably has power to pardon himself . Asked about the letter, Trump 's attorney Rudy Giuliani said on Sunday that the President is not going to pardon himself but "probably does" have the power to do it.

Now, Trump says, he has the power to keep himself out of jail if he wanted, declaring an “absolute right to PARDON myself.” Only two presidents have been impeached by the House, although both were acquitted by the Senate: Johnson in 1868 after he clashed with Congress over reconstruction of

This time, Trump and Giuliani have the better of the chattering class. Article II of the Constitution declares that the president “shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in cases of Impeachment.”

A careful reading of the plain text shows that the framers made only two exceptions to the pardon power. First, the president cannot issue pardons for state crimes, only violations of federal law. Second, the president cannot issue pardons for impeachment.

The constitutional text contains no other limitations on the presidential pardon power, and the Supreme Court, as recently as 1974, has never attempted to impose one.

Historical evidence from the Constitution’s framing cannot overcome the plain meaning of the constitutional text – if anything, it supports this textual reading.

To be sure, the 1787-88 debate in the states over whether to adopt the Constitution did not extensively discuss the pardon power.

Trump Says He Has Power to Pardon Himself but Has ‘Done Nothing Wrong’

  Trump Says He Has Power to Pardon Himself but Has ‘Done Nothing Wrong’ The president’s comment raised the prospect that he might take extraordinary action to immunize himself from the ongoing Russia investigation.Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter

Now, Trump says, he has the power to keep himself out of jail if he wanted, declaring an “absolute right to PARDON myself.” Only two presidents have been impeached by the House, although both were acquitted by the Senate: Johnson in 1868 after he clashed with Congress over reconstruction of

Donald Trump has declared that, as the US President, he could pardon himself if Robert Mueller’s ‘Russiagate’ investigation were to find him guilty of “If he shot James Comey, he’d be impeached the next day,” Giuliani was quoted by HuffPost as saying. “ Impeach him, and then you can do whatever

But in the main guide to the Constitution’s meaning offered by its supporters, The Federalist Papers, gave two reasons for the pardon power.

As Alexander Hamilton explained in Federalist 74, the Constitution creates a pardon power “out of humanity and good policy” to allow for “mitigation from the rigour of the law.”

In other words, the president can issue pardons when the law produces harsh or absurd results, such as a small-time thief who, under a three-strikes law, might go to jail for life for stealing a pizza. Mercy has propelled most of the pardons issued by presidents in our history.

Foreshadowing the attack of modern Trump critics, opponents of executive power argued that the president might misuse the power to pardon his co-conspirators in a treason plot. During the Philadelphia Convention, which drafted the Constitution for state approval, Virginia Gov. Edmund Randolph proposed that a third exclusion from pardons join those for state crimes and impeachments: prosecutions for treason.

Randolph argued that “the prerogative of pardon in these cases was too great a trust. The President may himself be guilty. The Traytors may be his own instruments.”

Can Trump pardon himself? Not if he’s impeached

  Can Trump pardon himself? Not if he’s impeached President Donald Trump once joked he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and not lose voter support. The quip was intended as hyperbole to make a point on the loyalty of his base.Now, Trump says, he has the power to keep himself out of jail if he wanted, declaring an “absolute right to PARDON myself.” This time though, it seems, he isn’t joking.

President Trump ’s attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani publicly pressed Trump ’s expansive view of executive power this weekend, arguing on two Sunday TV shows that the president probably has the sweeping constitutional authority to pardon “If the president were to pardon himself , he’ll get impeached .”

Now, Trump says, he has the power to keep himself out of jail if he wanted, declaring an "absolute right to PARDON myself." Almost every president has used his pardon powers , but somewhat narrowly — focusing on overturning cases when they believe a severe injustice has been done or is

James Wilson responded: “Pardon is necessary for cases of treason, and is best placed in the hands of the Executive.” Wilson, however, suggested that a president could still be prosecuted for treason. “If he be himself a party to the guilt he can be impeached and prosecuted.”  Randolph’s motion lost by 8 states to 2.

In publicly responding to Randolph’s claim when the Constitution went to the states for ratification, Hamilton provided a second, broader justification for the pardon power and rejected limits on its self-dealing use.

According to Hamilton in Federalist 74, the anti-Federalists argued that “the connivance of the chief magistrate ought not to be entirely excluded” in cases of treason. They demanded instead that the Constitution give Congress the power to pardon.

Hamilton refused to accept a limit on the pardon power, even for those who conspire with the president, even for the president himself. Instead, Hamilton explained that an unfettered pardon power could be critical to ending public disorder or civil war.

“In seasons of insurrection or rebellion, there are often critical moments, when a well-timed offer of pardon to the insurgents or rebels may restore the tranquility of the commonwealth,” Hamilton wrote. Only the president, Hamilton argued, could act vigorously in times of crisis and use pardons to “restore the tranquility of the commonwealth.”

Chuck Grassley: 'I think I would hire a new lawyer' after Giuliani's pardon comments

  Chuck Grassley: 'I think I would hire a new lawyer' after Giuliani's pardon comments Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, suggested Monday that the President should hire a new lawyer if his current one is telling him that he can pardon himself. "If I were President of the United States and I had a lawyer that told me I could pardon myself, I think I would hire a new lawyer," Grassley told CNN when asked if he agrees that President Donald Trump could pardon himself.Trump tweeted Monday that he had the "absolute right to pardon myself" but would not do so because he'd done nothing wrong.

“I don’t think he can pardon himself , that would lead to a reaction in the Congress that would be devastating Gingrich, however, said that Congress has the “absolute right to impeach him.” I know Trump has gotten away with running roughshod over our political and legal norms to this point

Giuliani noted that while Trump may have the power to pardon himself in the face of any indictments, he's hoping that is not the case. Chris Christie, also on ABC Sunday, noted, "If the president were to pardon himself , he'll get impeached ." ABC News' chief legal analyst, Dan Abrams, added, "We all

Hamilton’s argument on the pardon power advanced his core thesis that the Constitution must concentrate the executive power in a single person, the president, so that the nation could act with decisiveness, speed and energy.

Hamilton’s wisdom undoubtedly served the nation well during the Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln used not only the executive power to respond energetically to the existential threat of secession, but also used the pardon power to begin the process of national healing.

The benefits of such a power, Hamilton believed, outweighed the possibilities that a future president might use pardons to corruptly benefit himself. Attempts to read an anti-self-dealing principle into the pardon power, where none appears in the text, are incorrect. They amount to the type of judicial activism that has undermined the legitimacy of the Supreme Court and does violence to the process for democratic self-government written into the Constitution.

But just because President Trump has the constitutional power to pardon himself, prudence and political tradition urge him against using it.

If President Trump believes that Mueller is acting improperly, the remedy is to fire Mueller, not to preemptively pardon himself and everyone subject to the investigation.

Indeed, a self-pardon could rise to the level of a “high Crime and misdemeanor” sufficient to launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

Impeachment remains the Constitution’s mechanism for punishing, in Hamilton’s words, “the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust.”

If President Trump were to use the pardon power for himself, even if constitutionally possible, he could provide Congress the grounds it needs to remove him from office.

Could Trump pardon himself? It's complicated .
In conservative circles, few arguments are more triggering than those that begin: "The Founding Fathers never could have imagined" There are several reasons conservatives don't like this line of reasoning, but chief among them is that it gives license to progressives to exceed constitutional restraints. Because the founders never could have imagined air travel, AR-15s or Twitter, the logic goes, we are free to come up with laws that violate the text or intent of the Constitution.

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