The Narcissist-in-Chief is pondering pardons, including his own. I can think of some self-executing acts he might undertake, and I might suggest one or two if given the chance. But he can’t go pardon himself. The idea of a selfie-pardon is beyond imagination. Almost.
First thing to check is the Constitution. On the matter of the pardon power it says that the president can grant pardons for all offenses against the United States, except in the case of impeachment. Because our courts have decided that an offense against the United States can’t be leveled against a sitting president, he does not have the power to pardon himself. The only way he can be removed from office is through impeachment. So our founders made it so that the president could not take himself off the hook. His self-pardon trial balloon is more hot air.
As far as his family, he does have the power to pardon them. Maybe he thinks if he does that there would be no hearings or prosecutions. He’d be wrong. Once a pardon is given, the pardonee has no fifth amendment protection against self-incrimination. Because the pardonee can’t be prosecuted, there is no immunity. The pardonee would be required to testify or would be held in contempt of Congress. Can a person get pardoned twice? Do you see where this is going? So if the Ginger Mussolini thinks he can pardon his way out of the Russia investigation, he has been drinking the water from the Chernobyl water table.
Speaking of hearings, did you notice that Donald Junior and Jared Kushner have been pulled off the Senate entertainment calendar? Chairman Chuck Grassley decided not to have the public meet and greet with the Trump juveniles. Grassley’s Senate Judiciary committee plans to go slow until the president can escape through the gift shop.
But wait! There’s more! The Future Ex-President is sowing seeds to discredit Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor appointed by the Department of Justice. He is trying to build a case to fire Mueller. If he is able to push Attorney General Jeff Sessions out of office, then he can appoint a loyal soldier in Sessions’ place. Sessions may not be able to fire Mueller but his replacement could. The thing is , anyone nominated to take Jeff Sessions’ place will have to promise not to dismiss the special prosecutor without good cause.
All of this should give us a profound sense of respect for the Constitution and the job that the founders did. It’s not easy to subvert the United States government, even when all the branches are being run by the same party. This isn’t President Putin’s Russia or even Mayor Daley’s Chicago. For the moment, United States is still a nation of laws, not of dictators.