The news is out: [Donald J. Trump, who has now successfully carried his penchant for failure as a former steak salesman into his role as POTUS, has allegedly been making inquiries about the ins and outs of pardons for several years now.
According to a new report from CNN including commentary from a number of sources described as “current and former” administration officials, Trump’s had matters of pardon on the brain since at least 2017. Since then, former aides explained, Trump has “been asking” whether he would be able to pardon himself.
Another ex-White House official, meanwhile, said Trump has also asked about pardons for family members, as well as preemptive pardons aimed at federal crimes one could be charged with in the future. As pardons are only applicable for crimes of a federal nature, the action would not prevent Trump or anyone else from potential results stemming from Trump Organization investigations that are currently in progress under the direction of the New York attorney general.
And while some have assessed an attempted self-pardon as a surefire thing, others have argued such a move is highly unlikely, if for no other reason than doing so would quite clearly imply some sort of guilt. Also notable, as pointed out by the Washington Post earlier this week, is that trying to pardon himself isn’t constitutionally supported.
Back in 2018, Trump publicly theorized about pardoning himself, at once claiming he has “the absolute right” to do so while also questioning why he would need to if he had truly “done nothing wrong.”]
Trump’s best move for a pardon would be to quit now, so Pence can take over and pardon him. It’s a gamble he should be willing to take. It would be fun to see if Pence would follow through.