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-   -   Will Trump pardon himself? (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=348918)

Darat 11th January 2021 07:24 AM

Will Trump pardon himself?
 
I think he will.

JoeMorgue 11th January 2021 07:26 AM

I think he'll try.

And much of his inner circle. His family, and Giuliani especially.

I honestly don't see him trying to pull some sort of mass pardon on all of his followers though.

Chanakya 11th January 2021 07:27 AM

Will he try to? I think yes.

Will he succeed? No way.

Chanakya 11th January 2021 07:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13356612)
I think he'll try.

And much of his inner circle. His family, and Giuliani especially.

I honestly don't see him trying to pull some sort of mass pardon on all of his follows though.


He doesn't care for them, even one little bit. He doesn't care if those gibbering morons that keep flocking to him live or die. When they are no more use to him, he'll dump them like toilet paper. When he sees he has no more use for them, the very possibility of pardoning them won't cross what passes for a mind with him. He won't even try. The possibility of trying will not even cross his mind.

Darat 11th January 2021 07:29 AM

Part of the reason I think he will is because the likes of his daughter and son-in-law and lawyer will want pardons and with Trump unless they can make him think he is getting something in exchange for their pardons he has no reason to grant them pardons.

shemp 11th January 2021 07:30 AM

I considered voting no, because Trump doesn't believe he committed any crimes, and a self-pardon would be an admission of crimes. But then I decided that Trump is too stupid to think about such matters and only wants to save his worthless carcass.

Mader Levap 11th January 2021 07:31 AM

I voted yes, in sense that he will TRY to pardon himself. Success of that try is different story, of course.

IMO there should be three options in poll:
> No, he won't try to pardon himself.
> Yes, he will try to pardon himself, but he will fail.
> Yes, he will try to pardon himself and he will be pardoned.

JoeMorgue 11th January 2021 07:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shemp (Post 13356620)
I considered voting no, because Trump doesn't believe he committed any crimes, and a self-pardon would be an admission of crimes. But then I decided that Trump is too stupid to think about such matters and only wants to save his worthless carcass.

In seriousness if Trump doesn't try that is almost certainly the reason, that he simply can't think of it except as an admission of guilt and Trump can do no wrong in Trump's head.

If Trump pardons other people and not himself, then it absolutely certainly is the reason.

slyjoe 11th January 2021 07:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13356623)
In seriousness if Trump doesn't try that is almost certainly the reason, that he simply can't think of it except as an admission of guilt and Trump can do no wrong in Trump's head.

If Trump pardons other people and not himself, then it absolutely certainly is the reason.

He's been asking people for months about self-pardoning. As well as for his family and Guiliani. I think it absolutely has occurred to him.

timhau 11th January 2021 07:36 AM

Are there any formal requirements for a presidential pardon?

I so hope there are, because Trump's crack legal team would screw it up.

JoeMorgue 11th January 2021 07:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timhau (Post 13356629)
Are there any formal requirements for a presidential pardon?

I so hope there are, because Trump's crack legal team would screw it up.

No. As being discussed in the other threads Presidential Pardon powers are nearly unrestricted.

Literally the only Federal Crime a President technically can't impeach is one related to impeachment.

Now to me the "President Can't Pardon Himself" is covered under that, but as stated legal scholars literally have made careers out of answering questions related to pardons so....

timhau 11th January 2021 07:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13356632)
No. As being discussed in the other threads Presidential Pardon powers are nearly unrestricted.

Literally the only Federal Crime a President technically can't impeach is one related to impeachment.

Yes, but that wasn't what I tried to ask. Can he screw things up somehow by issuing a pardon that isn't valid for some technical reason?

The Don 11th January 2021 07:47 AM

Does he think he has done anything that requires a pardon ?

I suppose he could pardon himself even though he's done nothing wrong to protect himself against malicious prosecution. :rolleyes:

JoeMorgue 11th January 2021 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timhau (Post 13356637)
Yes, but that wasn't what I tried to ask. Can he screw things up somehow by issuing a pardon that isn't valid for some technical reason?

There is no "technical."

"The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment."

That's it. That's the whole thing. That's all it says. There's no technicality beyond that.

Everything else is either tradition or someone's interpretation.

Horatius 11th January 2021 07:53 AM

I opined on this elsewhere on the Intertubes weeks ago. As I see it, there's huge downsides to Trump being out of office without a pardon, since he's obvious guilty of lots of stuff. But it's not clear that a self-pardon has any downsides, and could have huge upsides. If the courts decide a self-pardon isn't valid, it's not like "...and he tried to pardon himself!" will add much to his legal woes, but if the self-pardon is allowed to stand, he skates on all the (Federal-level, at least) **** he's pulled.

It's like if I offered you a free chance to win a million dollars. Even if the odds were 10 million to one against you winning, you'd try it anyways, because it's a free try. You lose nothing if you lose, but win big if you win.

So he will almost certainly try this.

Monza 11th January 2021 07:54 AM

Yes, I think he will pardon himself with some vague wording about what it's actually for. If ever charged and the self-pardon is challenged, I don't think it would hold up.

Regardless, I hope in every interview from now until his last day, he is asked, "What offense against the United States did you pardon yourself for?"

JoeMorgue 11th January 2021 07:58 AM

If he does Biden should literally pardon himself for anything he does for the next 4 years the moment he takes office.

rambaldi 11th January 2021 08:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13356643)
There's no technicality beyond that.

Too bad, I would love it when he screwed up... couldn't he forget his name?

Segnosaur 11th January 2021 08:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mader Levap (Post 13356621)
I voted yes, in sense that he will TRY to pardon himself. Success of that try is different story, of course.

IMO there should be three options in poll:
> No, he won't try to pardon himself.
> Yes, he will try to pardon himself, but he will fail.
> Yes, he will try to pardon himself and he will be pardoned.

Actually I think there should be 4 options... your 'pardon himself/will be pardoned' needs to be broken down....

1) no he won't pardon himself
2) yes he will pardon himself, he gets charged anyways, the pardon fails, Trump ends up in jail
3) He pardons himself, is charged, and the courts find the pardon valid
4) He pardons himself, but the incoming Biden administration either never bothers to pursue charges (maybe because they fall for the 'heal the divide' bunk, or because Trump gets charged at the state level and doesn't want to interfere with it), or gets a second (valid) pardon from Biden, for the same reasons given, so the validity of Trump's self pardon is never tested.

Segnosaur 11th January 2021 08:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13356632)
Quote:

No. As being discussed in the other threads Presidential Pardon powers are nearly unrestricted.
No. As being discussed in the other threads Presidential Pardon powers are nearly unrestricted.

Well, I can think of one way he could screw up...

Instead of issuing a blanket pardon, issue a pardon for certain crimes (e.g. "I pardon myself of crimes related to the riot") but fail to mention other crimes (Like tax fraud).

Or, heck, maybe his 'crack legal team' will make a simple paperwork error... "I pardon Ronald Gump". "Great, so we won't charge Ronald Gump. But Donald Trump is fair game".

Finster 11th January 2021 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13356642)
Does he think he has done anything that requires a pardon ?

I suppose he could pardon himself even though he's done nothing wrong to protect himself against malicious prosecution. :rolleyes:


That would be my guess – He’ll maintain that he did nothing wrong but pardon himself anyway because the evil baby eating liberals are going to frame him.

Who exactly has the authority to decide if he gets away with it or not (and to enforce the determination)? Supreme court, Attorney general, other?

JoeMorgue 11th January 2021 08:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Finster (Post 13356681)
That would be my guess – He’ll maintain that he did nothing wrong but pardon himself anyway because the evil baby eating liberals are going to frame him.

Who exactly has the authority to decide if he gets away with it or not (and to enforce the determination)? Supreme court, Attorney general, other?

Really only Scotus has the power to say "No the Constitutions means this when is says that" so it would fall on them if someone makes a legal challenge to it.

ponderingturtle 11th January 2021 08:15 AM

I figure a shot at self pardoning is a given, seriously what are the downsides to him of rolling the dice like this?

SkepticScott 11th January 2021 08:17 AM

My fear is that as a final act Trump pardons every criminal in Federal prisons.

BobTheCoward 11th January 2021 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle (Post 13356684)
I figure a shot at self pardoning is a given, seriously what are the downsides to him of rolling the dice like this?

Better yet, he should prepare a pardon that pardons every human for every crime Ever. And then say he will sign it if the house impeaches him.

TragicMonkey 11th January 2021 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkepticScott (Post 13356687)
My fear is that as a final act Trump pardons every criminal in Federal prisons.

He would never do that: some of them aren't white.

Squeegee Beckenheim 11th January 2021 08:20 AM

It's long gone in the insurrection thread, but there was a tweet from a reporter (IIRC) saying that they'd been told that nobody would now touch the paperwork required for Trump to pardon anybody. There was definitely a tweet from a reporter citing a source inside the White House saying that the White House lawyer was advising all staff not to even talk to Trump for fear of becoming liable for charges of sedition and treason.

If either of those things is half true, then I'd imagine he'd find it difficult to even try.

But there have been reports from before Wednesday that he's been talking about it and getting advice about it, so I'd say that he definitely would have wanted to.

Segnosaur 11th January 2021 08:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkepticScott (Post 13356687)
My fear is that as a final act Trump pardons every criminal every white criminal in Federal prisons.

Fixed it for you.

TragicMonkey 11th January 2021 08:21 AM

This would be amusing: President Biden, on Jan 21: "People are saying, they are saying, 'Sir, what if you offered to pardon anybody who beat the crap out of Donald Trump?' They're saying, I don't know that, it's just, if that's a thing, it's out there, they said are saying, 'Sir', they said. So I don't know, maybe."

Suddenly 11th January 2021 08:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13356660)
If he does Biden should literally pardon himself for anything he does for the next 4 years the moment he takes office.

Which is why my guess, in the case of Trump going hog-wild with the pardon power, is that the courts would end up finding that the pardon power must be defined within the Anglo-American legal tradition at the time of the framing and then cherry picking the historical record to cut the pardon power down to what they see as reasonable.

Some of the Federalist party unitary executive theorists might find that the power is basically boundless, but it is doubtful that ends up winning in the end when there is a Democrat in the White House.

Crossbow 11th January 2021 08:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13356612)
I think he'll try.

And much of his inner circle. His family, and Giuliani especially.

I honestly don't see him trying to pull some sort of mass pardon on all of his followers though.

Thanks much.

I was thinking about the exact same thing.

jrhowell 11th January 2021 08:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13356694)
It's long gone in the insurrection thread, but there was a tweet from a reporter (IIRC) saying that they'd been told that nobody would now touch the paperwork required for Trump to pardon anybody. There was definitely a tweet from a reporter citing a source inside the White House saying that the White House lawyer was advising all staff not to even talk to Trump for fear of becoming liable for charges of sedition and treason.

If either of those things is half true, then I'd imagine he'd find it difficult to even try.

But there have been reports from before Wednesday that he's been talking about it and getting advice about it, so I'd say that he definitely would have wanted to.

All he would have to do is call a press conference and say "I pardon myself for any crime that the treasonous democrats, who by the way were behind the storming of the Capitol, might seek to charge me with, although of course they know that they are the ones who are really guilty of rigging the election and many other things!" That might just stand up legally as an actual pardon in the Supreme Court.

Segnosaur 11th January 2021 08:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13356694)
It's long gone in the insurrection thread, but there was a tweet from a reporter (IIRC) saying that they'd been told that nobody would now touch the paperwork required for Trump to pardon anybody. There was definitely a tweet from a reporter citing a source inside the White House saying that the White House lawyer was advising all staff not to even talk to Trump for fear of becoming liable for charges of sedition and treason.

If either of those things is half true, then I'd imagine he'd find it difficult to even try.

Well, in that case the question is, does the paperwork for issuing a pardon have to come from an official white house lawyer?

Could Trump get someone like Rudy Guilianni to write up the pardon? Or could Trump just take a copy of Nixon's pardon, replace Nixon's name with his own, and sign it? (Well, changing a few things like the dates and whatnot).

Segnosaur 11th January 2021 08:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle (Post 13356684)
I figure a shot at self pardoning is a given, seriously what are the downsides to him of rolling the dice like this?

Well, other than how (in theory) it would look bad for him...

I wonder if it might impact any state-level charges that he might be subject to. e.g.. if he pardons himself for breaking federal tax laws, would it make a jury in New York more likely to convict him for breaking state laws?

"We were going to vote you not guilty, but since you pardoned yourself, we changed our mind".

JoeMorgue 11th January 2021 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Segnosaur (Post 13356742)
Well, in that case the question is, does the paperwork for issuing a pardon have to come from an official white house lawyer?

No. Nothing in the Constitution or any SCOTUS ruling related to pardons says anything close to that.

Again, as I'm saying in the other pardon thread, we're mistaking habit and tradition for rules and regulations.

There, to the best of my knowledge, only 3 things that limit a President's power to pardon.

- The actual text of the Constitution, specifically Article Two of the United States Constitution (Section 2, Clause 1)

- An 1833 Supreme Court case where they stated that the person had to accept the pardon and that the President can't pardon someone against their will (United States v. Wilson) and reaffirmed in Burdick v. United States in 1915 that also set the precedent that accepting a pardon is admission of guilt of the original crime.

- What the voting and general public will put up with before rejecting it some way; either politically or more radically.

The Don 11th January 2021 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Segnosaur (Post 13356742)
Well, in that case the question is, does the paperwork for issuing a pardon have to come from an official white house lawyer?

Could Trump get someone like Rudy Guilianni to write up the pardon? Or could Trump just take a copy of Nixon's pardon, replace Nixon's name with his own, and sign it? (Well, changing a few things like the dates and whatnot).

Given the general level of competence of Trump Administration, I can see them changing the name but not the dates and the whatnots.

Trebuchet 11th January 2021 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13356642)
Does he think he has done anything that requires a pardon ?

I suppose he could pardon himself even though he's done nothing wrong to protect himself against malicious prosecution. :rolleyes:

This is probably why I voted "no". But I'm not sure!

Dave Rogers 11th January 2021 09:03 AM

Given Trump's history, wouldn't the simplest thing be simply to deny the existence of any pardon he issues to himself on the grounds that it's fake news?

Dave

Upchurch 11th January 2021 10:19 AM

I also voted that he'll try.

The more interesting question is whether or not he'll try to give himself a blanket pardon and claim it also protects him from non-federal charges. It would fail, but I could see the idea appealing to him as a marriage of how great his power is as President and his belief that truth only requires on his insistence that it is true.

Horatius 11th January 2021 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13356660)
If he does Biden should literally pardon himself for anything he does for the next 4 years the moment he takes office.


Okay, so here's a strategy.

Every single campaign out there has, at some point, committed an accidental breach of some sort of election law, usually with regards to raising or spending money. When you're spending hundred of millions, it's almost impossible to make sure absolutely all of it stays within the lines. We've seen several cases where campaigns have plead guilty to such things, and it's no big deal unless there's actual malice involved.

So, Biden takes office, and issues himself a pardon for a single such incidence, and then instructs the DoJ to go ahead and charge him for this single instance anyways, alleging that the self-pardon has no legal effect. Then they petition to take it directly to the supreme court, since the case cannot be decided on its merits until the key constitutional question of the pardon is resolved.

At which point Biden submits a brief agreeing with the DoJ, and asks the court to rule against him, establishing the precedent that the self-pardon is invalid. Biden pays a nominal fine for the technical violation of election law, and then Trump is left wide open for Federal charges.


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