In a surprise move yesterday, despite his constant claims that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia is nothing more than a witch hunt, and his insistence that he’s done no wrong, Donald Trump decided to tweet about his “absolute right” to pardon himself IF in fact it is discovered he has broken the law in any way.
Now, maybe it’s just me, but…why on earth would a president be proclaiming innocence in one breath, yet feel the need to discuss pardoning himself in another? Or better yet, why would he believe he has such a right? Well, in his words, “numerous legal scholars” believe he does, and that’s all you really need to know.
In the same breath, he assures us that he would never have to pardon himself anyway since he hasn’t done anything wrong. Why then even make the claim that you can pardon yourself in the first place?
Nevertheless, this may be his guiltiest looking tweet to date, and he probably doesn’t even realize it. Although he tries to brush off the pardoning talk as if he’d never have to go to such great lengths, I’m not so sure that was accomplished. Also, his attempt to shift blame away from himself onto the Democrats comes across as pretty pathetic at best.
Clearly, this is a message written by a man who, in some way, must be feeling the pressure and has been left with no choice but to explore the idea of issuing a pardon for himself.
Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, agrees. Not long after the president’s ridiculous claim, he quickly took to Twitter with a rebuttal. In doing so, Schiff pointed out that a former disgraced president once asked the Department of Justice if he could pardon himself, to which they responded with a firm ‘no.’
Considering it’s becoming more likely with each passing day that Robert Mueller’s investigation is going to reveal criminally damning information about Trump and his closest cronies, the president would be wise to take note of what Schiff had to say. Perhaps he should just go ahead and resign in hopes that his successor, a newly empowered President Pence, will pardon him just as Ford did Nixon.