Obama ethics chief: ‘No, Trump can’t pardon himself’

Former Obama administration ethics lawyer Norman Eisen says that President Trump cannot pardon himself.

Eisen, along with Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe and Richard Painter who was chief White House ethics lawyer for George W. Bush, wrote in an op-ed that Trump cannot pardon himself citing the “fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case.”

{mosads}“But there is one thing we know that Trump cannot do — without being a first in all of human history. He cannot pardon himself,” they said.

“The Constitution specifically bars the president from using the pardon power to prevent his own impeachment and removal,” they wrote. “It adds that any official removed through impeachment remains fully subject to criminal prosecution. That provision would make no sense if the president could pardon himself.”

Trump asserted his “complete power to pardon” in a tweet Saturday morning after reports emerged this week that he was discussing his ability to pardon people in the ongoing investigation into ties between his campaign and Russia.

Political observers have been discussing the possibility of Trump issuing pardons in the Russia probe, following a report by The Washington Post that his lawyers were asking about the president’s authority to grant pardons.

Trump has also reportedly talked to his advisers about his ability to pardon his aides, family members and even himself in the investigation, according to The Post.


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