Now that Joe Biden has been declared president-elect and will become the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021, you can expect that the current resident of the White House is going to start handing out presidential pardons left and right.
But will Trump attempt what many consider to be beyond the scope of his power and try to pardon himself?
CNN legal analyst Elie Honig was asked about what he sees happening over the next few weeks, according to Mediaite:
“Oh, it’s going to be chaos.
“There seems to be a little bit of an impression out there that the president loses some of his powers once he’s… lost the election and is a lame duck. Not at all. He doesn’t lose a single legal or constitutional power. He still has the pardon power.”
Who will be receiving those pardons? Honig laid out a list of the likely suspects:
“I’m sure Michael Flynn, I’m sure he’s going to pardon Michael, Paul Manafort, and George Papadopoulos, even though the latter two have already served their time, just to make a point, just as a final, you know, finger in the eye of Robert Mueller.”
Honig also noted there will probably be preemptive pardons for members of the Trump family, including Don Jr., Eric, Ivanka, and Jared Kushner, and he added that “one of the fascinating questions is, will he pardon himself or attempt to pardon himself?”
So will he? Honig replied:
“We don’t know the answer to whether that’s lawful or constitutional because no one’s ever tried it. It’s never come up. Look, on the face of it, it seems like he can do it. I mean, the Constitution does not place any explicit limitation on a self pardon.
“On the other hand, it’s definitely not what our framers anticipated or wanted or, I mean, they hated and abhorred self-dealing. And that is the ultimate form of self-dealing,”
Trump has said he has the power to pardon himself, and he may be correct since the matter has never been litigated. But all the presidential pardons in the world cannot hold off the investigations being conducted in states such as New York, where both the Manhattan district attorney and New York attorney general are probably going to charge him and the Trump Organization with insurance and tax fraud for starters.
Donald Trump and his family are also facing financial ruin, which would be perfect karmic irony since the only thing any of them gives a damn about is money.
Go ahead and pardon everyone, Donald. Hell, pardon them several times if you want. It won’t forestall the legal reckoning that’s headed your way.