Washington D.C. — In what has surprised many Washington D.C insiders, President Obama has preemptively pardoned Donald Trump for any past and future crimes he may have committed. This executive action paves the way for a trouble-free first term for the incoming president-elect.
Along with being highly unusual and unexpected, many Constitutional scholars say that such an Executive action is probably not controversial as the Congress may ignore the action, and choose to impeach Mr. Trump if any wrong-doing surfaces. Also, this is the first of any kind of pardon issued before a President has been inaugurated.
“When Ford pardoned Nixon in 1974, he was already out office and probably on his way to a criminal trial,” said University of Chicago’s Professor James Badwater speaking from the Badwater Institute of Public Policy. “In retrospect, Ford probably did the right thing but at the time, people were thinking it would tear the Republic apart. However I’m reasonably certain Obama is out of line here and taunting Congress like this probably won’t work out well for either his legacy, or any legal issue Mr. Trump is bound to face.”
Despite vocal outcries from both the left and right parts of the political spectrum, the incoming Trump transition team celebrated the first of its kind “pre-pardon.”
“Mr. Trump is on the record as saying he likes President Obama,” said Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway speaking to CNN this afternoon. “And although President-elect Trump has done nothing wrong, it’s nice to have this extra protection layer from Congress. I think the American people will appreciate this as President-elect Trump starts to make some tough and important decisions in the first 30 days of his administration.”
Here is the full text of the pardon:
December 11, 2016
By the President of the United States of America a Proclamation 6953
Donald J. Trump will become the forty-fifth President of the United States on January 20, 2017.
As a result of certain acts or omissions occurring before his ascension to the Office of President, Donald J. Trump might become liable to possible indictment and trial for offenses against the United States. Whether or not he shall be so prosecuted depends on findings of the appropriate grand jury and on the discretion of the authorized prosecutor. Should an indictment ensue, the accused shall then be entitled to a fair trial by an impartial jury, as guaranteed to every individual by the Constitution.
It is believed that a trial of Donald J. Trump, if it became necessary, could not fairly begin until a year or more has elapsed. In the meantime, the tranquility to which this nation has been restored by the events of recent weeks could be irreparably lost by the prospects of bringing to trial a former President of the United States. The prospects of such trial will cause prolonged and divisive debate over the propriety of exposing to further punishment and degradation a man who has already paid the unprecedented penalty of relinquishing the highest elective office of the United States.
Now, THEREFORE, I, Barack H. Obama, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Donald J. Trump for all offenses against the United States which he, Donald J. Trump, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 31, 2029.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eleventh day of December, in the year of our Lord Two-thousand Sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States.
Barack H. Obama