On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump has been asking his advisers whether he has the authority to pardon aides, family member and, mostly importantly, himself, which as we all know is something that innocent people commonly do. Trump’s lawyers have also reportedly been discussing the limits of the president’s pardoning privilege among themselves.
One advisor characterized Trump’s line of questioning as the expression of a simple curiosity to understand the reach of his pardoning powers, because the man we have come to admit is actually our President is also a deeply inquisitive, knowledge-thirsting person, a lover of learning and of justice. “This is not in the context of, ‘I can’t wait to pardon myself,’” a close advisor told the Post. Of course not, I’m sure the President has been racing around Mar-a-Lago yelling “I can’t wait to pardon myself!” but in an entirely different context.
The question of a presidential self-pardon has been raised before during the Trump presidency (the really short answer is that, constitutionally, the President can’t grant pardons in cases of impeachment, but it’s never been tried either, and Trump seems like a prime candidate to pull that shit), and this time it came up—importantly, reportedly, from the President’s own mouth—in the context of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
I should add that the President is also a mighty, influential man, and the sole reason for the existence of this autofill:
Can pressure be negative? Uh huh.