Thursday, July 20, 2017

Pardon Is Not A Get Out of Jail Free Card

There is reporting tonight that President Trump is asking for legal advice about his powers to pardon his staff, relatives and himself.  Presumably he is looking for a get out of jail free card if investigators get too close to proving illegal activities.

While that may sound like an easy way to avoid penalties of illegal activities, it may be just the opposite.

I don't know if a President can give a blanket pardon for all prior federal crimes even those that are not identified or not associated with their public service.  That might be possible.  I also don't know if a President can give a pardon for future crimes, but that seems unlikely.

If future crimes cannot be pardoned, there would then be a lot of people who once pardoned could not be prosecuted for their prior federal crimes, BUT those people could still be questioned under oath about those crimes.  They would have to tell the truth or be subject to obstruction of justice charges or lying under oath charges.  We would then be able to ask and expect to get complete and honest  answers about the crimes for which they were pardoned.  Those confessions would silence the Trump forever supporters and possibly expose additional crimes for which these or other people could be prosecuted.

A presidential pardon only applies to federal crimes, so crimes in other jurisdictions may be uncovered and prosecuted.

I'm not sure that the Trump billionaires have enough money to pay for all the legal support they will need after the pardons.

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