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Thursday, January 07, 2021

Some Thoughts on a Self-Pardon

The odds that the President will pardon himself seem pretty good. Rather than address the validity of such a pardon, I want to make some points about what responses that act might generate:

  1. I would think that the House of Representatives could try to find the ex-President in contempt of Congress for what occurred yesterday. This might create a test case for a self-pardon without action by the DOJ or by a United States Attorney. (I'm not sure that this would create a live case, but arguably a "conviction" without a sentence is a sufficient harm.)
  2. Congress could summon the ex-President to testify. He could not "Take the Fifth" and claim the benefit of the self-pardon at the same time. (Though I guess he could say, "I can take the Fifth since I'm not sure that a court will uphold the validity of the self-pardon.")
  3. A self-pardon might give Congress an excuse to impeach, convict, and disqualify the ex-President precisely because pardons cannot apply to impeachments. It would be the only tool.


Posted by Gerard Magliocca on January 7, 2021 at 07:51 PM | Permalink


Just clarifications to my comment:

First, the resolution proposed by Rep. Omar, bears two articles for impeachment. One concerning the phone call to Georgia Secretary of state Brad Raffensperger. The second one concerns the very recent riots.

Here to the resolution itself:


Second, one may argue of course, that even if he wouldn't be by then president, yet, the impeachment would meant also, for preventing him, to hold any future federal office (he has by the way, plans, to run for the 2024 election).


Posted by: El roam | Jan 8, 2021 6:02:34 AM

I quote, Article I , section 3, providing as follows:

" Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: "

But here the most relevant and important one, I quote:

" but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law. "


Posted by: El roam | Jan 8, 2021 5:34:10 AM

Hell of complications here. By the way, already started, titled:

"Rep. Omar unveils impeachment resolution against Trump"



One may wonder by the way:

Until then, he wouldn't be no longer the president. So, one may argue, that we have an issue of mootness. Since, impeachment meant basically, to impeach sitting officer or president. Yet, he wouldn't be president. No impeachment would be relevant by then.

On the other hand, one may argue, that based on the impeachment, criminal action can be initiated, after termination of his office (as dictated by the constitution).

One may read, great article about self pardon and Trump, here in "Sidebars"(very recommended blog by itself):



Posted by: El roam | Jan 8, 2021 5:30:25 AM

I'll take option three, please, as that option does not require Mr. Trump to be physically present in the chamber.

Posted by: Paul Sonnenfeld | Jan 7, 2021 8:42:13 PM

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