US President Donald Trump is exploring the possibility of issuing himself a self-pardon, if reports are to be believed. As per reports, he has been asking aides and lawyers about his self-pardon power. White House counsel Pat Cipollone is reported to be one of the people he has asked.
It is not clear what he would issue himself a pardon for or if he, indeed, even needs one. Donald Trump has not been indicted in any matter and there is no evidence that he has committed any illegality. The matter has not been breached after the riots at Capitol Hill, reports indicate.
CNN reported, “He has also asked for legal opinions on whether he has the authority to issue a self-pardon and has been advised on the potential political fallout. This person said it was not yet clear whether the President would follow through with a pardon for himself.”
New York Times reported that the incumbent US President has considered “pre-emptive pardons” for members of his family, including Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner as well as his close associates like Rudy Giuliani. Trump has reportedly expressed concern that the Biden administration will investigate them all.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump had said in 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?”
If he indeed goes ahead with it, it would be an unprecedented use of the president’s pardon power. There is no consensus among legal experts whether a president can pardon himself. However, most are of the opinion that it would not stand the test of legality.