Trump has suggested he wants to pardon himself: NYT

President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Poll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report MORE has openly discussed the possibility of preemptively pardoning himself and his adult children before leaving office in recent days amid the takeover of the U.S. Capitol by rioters.

The New York Times reports that two people with knowledge of the discussions verified that the president had raised the issue in recent days; the move, never before attempted by a U.S. president, would be of questionable legality as experts disagree over whether a president has the power to unilaterally declare himself above the law before leaving office.

The Times reports that Trump has fretted openly about the possibility of a Justice Department controlled by President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenObama: Ensuring democracy 'continues to work effectively' keeps me 'up at night' New Jersey landlords prohibited from asking potential tenants about criminal records Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE launching investigations into him and his family following his departure from the White House. Calls to prosecute the president on the left and among some Republicans sharply grew Wednesday following the dramatic scene in Washington, D.C., where rioters — directed by Trump to "walk down to the Capitol" after departing his rally — broke through police barricades, windows and locked doors and entered the Capitol.


The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Times's reporting. The president issued a video message late Wednesday urging rioters to be "peaceful" while expressing his support for their disputed belief that the election was "stolen" by his opponent.

Some of the president's allies including Fox News host Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityPoll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Book claims Trump believed Democrats would replace Biden with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama in 2020 election 9 Republicans not named Trump who could run in 2024 MORE have advised him publicly to make such a move before leaving office, suggesting that the Biden administration will seek retribution against the Trump family.

“The president out the door needs to pardon his whole family and himself because they want this witch hunt to go on in perpetuity. They’re so full of rage and insanity against the president,” Hannity said in December.

Only one president, Richard Nixon (R), has ever been granted a pardon, and Nixon's was done so by his successor, President Ford (R). At the time of the Watergate scandal in 1974 that ended Nixon's presidency, the Justice Department issued a memo finding that a self-pardon would be unconstitutional after Nixon was reportedly considering a similar move.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Energy: Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West | White House leads opposition to raising gas tax | Biden taps ex-New Mexico lawmaker for USDA post Trump against boycotting Beijing Olympics in 2022 House Democrats' campaign arm raises almost million in May MORE (D-Calif.) announced Thursday that the president would face a potential second impeachment by the House should Vice President Pence refuse to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him before the end of his term; such a move would also be unprecedented in U.S. history.