January 20, 2021
How is it possible, hypothetically speaking, a president can commit any crime they choose while in office, then grant him or herself a full pardon, exonerating themselves for every crime they may or may not have committed not only during their presidency, but from date of birth until date of pardon?
How is it possible that a president, or anyone, does not have to be charged with a crime, let alone convicted, to be pardoned? Making this scenario even more bizarre, is that a president can pardon a person who committed a crime on their behalf. Or a family member, or four who did so. How is it possible that a president can even pardon their own business(es)?
I’m no constitutional scholar, and far from knowledgeable, but there are only two restrictions to presidential pardons. One is that the crime must be federal, the other is that the crime must not involve impeachment proceedings. Making any such circumstances even more strange is that a president can pardon anyone, including themself in secret. Let me repeat that, a president can secretly pardon themself, and only be exposed if they were to be charged with a crime.
This cannot possibly be what our founding fathers had in mind two and a half centuries ago. Thankfully, this is just a hypothetical conspiracy and can never, ever happen here. Right?
Steven H. Spring