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Should a President Be Able to Pardon Himself?

Should a President Be Able to Pardon Himself?

Here’s The Scoop

The question of whether a U.S. president can pardon himself has long been a contentious topic in American politics. This debate has been reignited as former President Trump, currently facing 91 felony counts across four criminal cases, has hinted at the possibility of utilizing one of the presidency’s most potent powers to absolve himself of criminal liability.

The presidential pardon, granted by Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution, is a formidable tool at the president’s disposal. It allows the commander-in-chief to eclipse the federal and military judiciary systems without consulting Congress. The president can grant a pardon to anyone convicted of a federal crime, using whichever standards he deems fit.

However, the power of the pardon is not absolute. A president cannot pardon people convicted of state crimes nor commute sentences for state crimes. Pardons also cannot apply to congressional impeachments against federal officials, as this would infringe upon the separation of powers.

Scholars are divided on whether the president’s pardon power extends to himself. Some argue that the open-endedness of the Constitution does not explicitly exclude anyone from receiving a pardon, while others believe that a self-pardon would violate the Constitution.

Trump has recently stated that it’s “very unlikely” he would pardon himself if he is convicted of a crime and wins office again. However, he defended the concept of self-pardons during his presidency, claiming he had “the absolute right” to do so.

The question remains open and contentious. Regardless of the legal feasibility, the moral implications of a self-pardon, especially in today’s politically charged climate, are worth considering.

What do you think? Let us know by participating in our poll, or join the discussion in the comment section below!


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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Tommy Sensenig

    January 13, 2024 at 9:45 am

    If the president can’t pardon himself, then all employees that work for the government should be held accountable for their actions. This should include all lies and false statements while holding office of any kind working for the federal government.

  2. Don

    January 14, 2024 at 7:11 am

    Depends on the president. Commie trash like Biden the answer is absolutely no.

    • Denise

      January 14, 2024 at 6:19 pm

      NO president should be able to pardon him/herself – that is free reign to commit crimes

  3. Tarheel

    January 14, 2024 at 8:04 am

    I think it Would set a bad precedent for a very corrupt number one knowing he Or she could do anything And not be held accountable.

  4. Mike Betts

    January 14, 2024 at 9:39 am

    If we are a “Nation of Laws, not of Men”, then letting a POTUS pardon himself essentially puts him or her above the law, a concept no nation should tolerate.

    • Denise

      January 14, 2024 at 6:19 pm

      absolutely!!

  5. Steve

    January 14, 2024 at 10:15 am

    Should a President Be Able to Pardon Himself?
    Seriously?
    NO!

  6. Bobbie

    January 15, 2024 at 7:13 pm

    Pardon themselves…of course!! Elected by the people, for the people…let’s hope s/he was elected by a sound thought process by the people and pardoning oneself is not an issue as, s/he has “DONE NOTHING WRONG”!! Hello!!…

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