#JAILTOTHECHIEF- Shit Just Got Real

Veritable Quandry

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The Constitution does not place any limits on the President's power to grant Federal pardons. Procedures used by recent Presidents were voluntary and not binding.

he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
So Trump can not pardon a person, himself included, for crimes against a state or impeachment proceedings in Congress. There are no other limits on the impeachment power.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Spirits Rising

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What do you mean by "such a pardon"? If you mean a blanket pardon, President Carter issued one to Vietnam war draft resisters in 1977: Viet draft evaders pardoned by Carter.
That's nice. Ignored/evaded the draft (as in you had no valid reason you could not serve and refused to do so)? Well guess what, you're guilty of Draft Evasion.

Carter pardoned a large group of a very specific crime.

The prior pardon in question did not name any specific crimes.

Either way, I really don't give a shit - the question was if the current President can pardon himself should this investigation result in his impeachment and conviction. The answer is: No, he cannot.

As to what limits beyond that exist? Pull as many prior examples as you want out of your (general) ass. The examples given were politically expedient: A blanket pardon for what amounts to a bunch of treasonous shit stains to ease their reintegration after the civil war. A pardon for a (by that time) former President so as to not rock the boat too much. A blanket pardon for Draft dodgers/evaders so as to not cause unrest.

Can a President pardon those not convicted? Apparently. In at least one of the above cases, a trial and conviction would have been nothing more than a formality.

Should they/should they be able to? No.

Can the theoretical scenario that started this oh so lovely distraction, actually happen? No, it cannot.
 

Veritable Quandry

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There is no explicit language in the Constitution preventing the President from pardoning himself. There is also no case law because no one has suggested it before.

There are actually differences of opinion from legitimate Constitutional scholars and legal experts. The argument against self pardons is based on legal principles and implied limits on Presidential powers. The position in support of the ability of the President to pardon themself is based on the strict reading of the Constitution.

Can it happen? My opinion would be that yes, Trump can pardon himself even in the absence of an indictment, but doing so carries an acknowledgement of guilt that would trigger an impeachment.

When you talk about "other limits" you gloss over the central question: What limits the President from pardoning themself? I provided the entire text on pardons from Article 2. Is the offense a Federal crime? Yes. Is the proceeding at hand an impeachment? No. Those are the only explicit limits. What then prevents a self-pardon under the Constitution?
 

Cristalle

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There is no explicit language in the Constitution preventing the President from pardoning himself. There is also no case law because no one has suggested it before.

There are actually differences of opinion from legitimate Constitutional scholars and legal experts. The argument against self pardons is based on legal principles and implied limits on Presidential powers. The position in support of the ability of the President to pardon themself is based on the strict reading of the Constitution.

Can it happen? My opinion would be that yes, Trump can pardon himself even in the absence of an indictment, but doing so carries an acknowledgement of guilt that would trigger an impeachment.
All true, but sadly, It does not matter if the Senate will not convict, and Trump just increased the margin of Republicans in office. We've seen how they are toadies without conscience. There will not be enough votes to convict.
 

Tranquility

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Either way, I really don't give a shit - the question was if the current President can pardon himself should this investigation result in his impeachment and conviction. The answer is: No, he cannot.
You don't have to be so defensive/offensive about it. This question is not exactly as simple as it sounds and there isn't a lot of tests to this presidential constitutional power. Fwiw, I mostly agree with you for the above statement. Check out this Snopes.com article.

Does the President Have an 'Absolute Right' to Self-Pardon?

It brings up a lot of valid points and a lot of the history surrounding the question of the president's authority to pardon themselves. Some people seem to think that the clause "except in Cases of Impeachment" refers to other federal employees who have been impeached and convicted and that the president could, in theory, pardon himself while the process is ongoing.

Furthermore, the president could pardon himself from any charges Mueller brings up, since those will not be impeachment charges, given that Mueller and the FBI do not have the authority to impeach and convict a president. However, that doesn't stop congress from impeachment proceedings (though I am not sure if double jeopardy would apply?)

The other problem, even if Mueller brings solid evidence of a boatload of crimes and collusion, is if congress will even impeach and convict Trump. After all, we got the 'too big to fail' argument for letting massive corporations financially rape a huge portion of the US population. These days it doesn't seem out of the question for the GOP to say that it would be too much of a global embarrassment to impeach and convict a sitting (GOP) president.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Either way, I really don't give a shit - the question was if the current President can pardon himself should this investigation result in his impeachment and conviction. The answer is: No, he cannot.
Impeachment != criminal conviction. Impeachment is the Senate removing him from office for high crimes and misdemeanors. Criminal conviction is a jury in a federal or state court finding him guilty of specific offences after a criminal trial.

It may well be the case that a president can't pardon himself for all offences he has committed or may have committed while in office (as Ford pardoned Nixon) and has to ask his successor to do that, but since there's no statute or constitutional provision that specifically bars self-pardons, I don't see how anyone other than the US Supreme Court can say for certain they are or aren't possible.
 

Veritable Quandry

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All true, but sadly, It does not matter if the Senate will not convict, and Trump just increased the margin of Republicans in office. We've seen how they are toadies without conscience. There will not be enough votes to convict.
I too am concerned about that. It is comforting to consider that (1) before the Supreme Court ruled that Nixon had to release the White House tapes, his approval was higher that Trump's has been.and there were not enough Senators to convict before that, but it became a foregone conclusion after and (2) Trump just made the losses in the House worse which weakens many Republican's incentives for backing him in the face of strong and specific evidence of crimes. In short, I am hoping that Republican self-interest would lead them to support removing Trump from office in order to get rid of him before the 2020 elections so he can't hurt their reelection chances.
 

Innula Zenovka

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If you had a monarchy, the question wouldn't arise since the monarch isn't subject to the jurisdiction of her own courts.

If #45 ever does make that state visit to the UK, he might want to consider that HM is the one person who couldn't be prosecuted here for murdering him. If she told one of her equerries to handle the matter for her (one has a man for that kind of thing, after all) then he would be at risk of prosecution, but she might be graciously pleased to pardon him.
 

Spirits Rising

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Impeachment != criminal conviction. Impeachment is the Senate removing him from office for high crimes and misdemeanors. Criminal conviction is a jury in a federal or state court finding him guilty of specific offences after a criminal trial.

It may well be the case that a president can't pardon himself for all offences he has committed or may have committed while in office (as Ford pardoned Nixon) and has to ask his successor to do that, but since there's no statute or constitutional provision that specifically bars self-pardons, I don't see how anyone other than the US Supreme Court can say for certain they are or aren't possible.
That's nice.

You are now being needlessly pedantic over a hypothetical that was clearly stated while rather missing the entire point of said hypothetical.

And no, the Supreme Court isn't the only one that can say for certain - it's pretty much right in what has been quoted and mentioned in this very thread: Where Impeachment is concerned, the President cannot self-pardon. Once impeached, whomever was in office at the time has no more personal say in the matter.

Could the incoming President turn around and then issue a pardon before a proper criminal trial can occur? That has also been answered and that answer is more than a bit unfortunate, despite doing so in a case such as this being ill-advised at best.

Now, going with the stipulation of the original hypothetical: President is Impeached, then convicted (which already fucking alludes to a proper trial) of the same charges that got him Impeached - and likely additional ones - yet for whatever reason refuses to vacate the office ....

He's already been Impeached - he is no longer the President, no matter how much he protests. No one prevented the subsequent trial and he was then convicted of the same crimes that got him Impeached. Since the Impeachment process has stripped him of the office, he cannot pardon himself. The Secret Service now has a choice to make: Allow/help his removal from an office he no longer holds or side with someone with no legitimate claim to the office and resist his removal.

The above is the hypothetical outlined before and now cleaned up and presented as a whole.

The only way a sitting President could self-pardon is if the charges were unrelated to an impending or in progress Impeachment hearing.

Any other outcome shows that we do not have - and never truly have had - any form of Democracy whatsoever.

Why that had to be spelled out is rather beyond me .... It was right there in the original hypothetical situation .....
 

Shiloh Lyric

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Interesting point raised by Robert Mann (former U.S. Senate and gubernatorial staffer) that I think fits into this thread: What if Donald Trump loses and refuses to leave? | Opinion

In my opinion this sentence

What official could get past the Secret Service to arrest and imprison a former president who refuses to abdicate?
kind of actually answers the question. Former is the word that matters.

Once a new President is sworn in, she....or he...is the rightful and Constitutionally legal occupier of the the Oval Office and the White House. Trump doesn't have to be present nor turn over a crown to a new President. If one is elected, they are sworn in. He can't change that without changing our Constitution and that's not a power he has. I don't even think, without double checking, that 'invalidating' an election is a power he has. Regardless of what he wants, he's not the King and that's not actually in danger of changing any time soon.

So, once a new President is sworn in, Trump only gets a limited SS detail from that point on. I would think the ACTUAL President's security would trump those few agents. So Secret Service would get past the Secret Service to remove a former president who refuses to go.

I could be wrong...but it's how it should play out if that event were to ever happen.
 

Innula Zenovka

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You are now being needlessly pedantic over a hypothetical that was clearly stated while rather missing the entire point of said hypothetical.
At risk of being needlessly pedantic, I think the confusion -- my confusion, anyway -- arose when you said:
Yeah no ... he cannot pardon someone before they're actually convicted. Nor could he issue a pardon for himself if he is convicted as once that happens, he is legally no longer the President.
I don't think anyone has suggested that Trump can escape impeachment by pardoning himself.

However, Trump most certainly has said that he thinks he can, if he chooses, pardon anyone, including himself, for any federal crimes he or they may have committed either before or during his presidency.

So what I'm saying is that Trump believes he can, at any point before the Senate actually votes to impeach him, use pardons to protect himself, his family and his entourage from prosecution for any federal crimes they may have committed, whether or not they've been indicted for, let alone convicted of, anything. He can't protect himself from impeachment (and I don't think anyone has tried to suggest he can) but he thinks he can use his pardon powers to pardon himself and others right up until the point at which he ceases to be president, and to my mind the only people who can say differently are the Supreme Court.
 
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Govi

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Would the Secret Service not help remove him, if he were no longer the sitting president?
The new president would be sworn in immediately (Pence would be it, for now) and would have the duty to order Trump removed. The FBI or U.S. Marshals would probably be the actual agents of the new president's order. The Secret Service would shift to protecting ex-president Trump from attack by members of the public.
 
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danielravennest

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Interesting point raised by Robert Mann (former U.S. Senate and gubernatorial staffer) that I think fits into this thread: What if Donald Trump loses and refuses to leave? | Opinion
Simple, next time he leaves on one of his golf vacations, don't let him back. If he stays in the White House, stop delivering food.

OK, more seriously, after the Chief Justice swears in Pence as the new President, he can order whatever he needs to get Donald out. In the interim, he can operate from the VP's house: