Washington, D.C. — According to unnamed White House officials, President Donald Trump is mulling the possibility of pre-pardoning himself of any criminal wrong-doing in the current investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. With the appointment of Robert Mueller as a special counsel, the chatter about President Donald Trump’s impeachment has started to migrate from the purely hypothetical to the realm of potential practical reality.
Although no president has ever tried to pardon himself, let alone been prosecuted after trying to pardon himself, so no court has had a chance to rule on the validity of self-pardons. Nixon considered pardoning himself just before he resigned. His lawyer advised him that he had the power, but Nixon decided against it.
Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution gives the president the power to “grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences [sic] against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” Technically it is not impossible for the President to pardon himself, but it would not protect him from impeachment. so it’s unclear if the President would pardon himself, but critics of him say they wouldn’t be surprised if he exercised that option.
Given the recent admission that his son Donald Trump, Jr, was at least receptive to colluding with the Russian government, there is a high likelihood that the President will at least pardon his son, and possibly Jared Kushner who was also in attendance in a secret meeting with a Russian operative. Paul Manafort, who at the time was running the Trump Presidential campaign and in attendance at the June 2016 meeting, will probably be thrown under the legal bus, according to the same unnamed White House officials.