The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
– The US Constitution – Article 2, Section 2, Clause 1
Wow, could the framers of the constitution have had any more run-on sentences? I mean, seriously, why would they have all of those powers in one sentence? It makes no sense.
- Can the president pardon himself? No one knows.
- Can the president pardon state crimes? No, only offenses against the United States. (Federal Crimes)
- What’s the difference between a pardon, clemency, and a commutation? Answer here.
- Other Questions.
Pardons laws are very complicated. However, what Trump is doing now is not complicated. He is getting the public used to the idea of pardons. He is numbing our feelings towards them. He is getting ready to pardon everyone around himself.
- Joe Arpaio, former (racist) sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona.
- Sholom Rubashkin, sentenced to 27 years in prison for bank fraud.
- Kristian Saucier, convicted of unauthorized possession and retention of national defense information.
- Lewis “Scooter” Libby, convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with the CIA leak scandal.
- Jack Johnson, was convicted in 1913 for traveling with his white girlfriend by an all-white jury for violating the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for “immoral” purposes. (Pardon was asked for personally by Sylvester Stallone.)
- Dinesh D’Souza, convicted of campaign finance violations.
He is also proposing more pardons for Martha Stewart and Rod Blagojevich.
Where is this leading?
To me this is going to the obvious place. He is going to pardon the people around him targeted by the Mueller investigation. This includes his family and most likely himself. He doesn’t care about the rule of law or the future of the presidency. Trumps focus is Trump. Self-preservation all the way.
The screwed up thing is that we are going to fall for it. We are going to get numb to pardons. We are going to be outraged and set up big marches and then we will get bored and lose focus. He will get away with it because we will not do anything to stop it.
President Trump is not the child in this scenario. The American public is. We can’t focus on anything for too long. We don’t like to read, we want to be entertained. Bottom line, when viewed as a group, we act like children.
- Trump will use the pardon as a shield to protect himself
- Congress will not impeach Trump
- 55% (or more) of eligible voters will not go to the polls this year
- Democrats will not regain the house or senate due to low turnout
Even the word hopeless is not devoid of hope. We need to teach our children about voting and we need to vote ourselves. It is the only way.
Also, so far, it seems like our democracy isn’t that fragile. It can withstand a lashing and keep upright. Hopefully, I didn’t just jinx it. 🙂