A day after US President Donald Trump went on a “tweet storm” about his ability to issue pardons, his lawyers are doing their best to try to squelch any speculation that Trump would use such means to protect his staff members.
With a number of close staff members, including his son Donald Trump Jr. and son-n-law Jared Kushner, under investigation for ties to Russian delegates, Trump’s opponents are concerned the President will use pardons to interfere with the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the US election process. The assumption is that any charges that come out of the investigation would end up amounting to nothing more than some personal embarrassment.
As his attorney, Jay Sekulow, appeared on the most recent edition of ABC News’ “This Week”, he offered this insight to the President’s power to issue pardons, namely one for himself.
“With regard to the issue of a President pardoning himself, there’s a big academic discussion going on right now. Let me tell you what the legal team is not doing. We’re not researching the issue, because the issue of pardons is not on the table. There’s nothing to pardon from.”
Sekulow later added, “Clearly the Constitution does vest a plenary pardon power within the presidency. Whether it would apply to the President himself I think ultimately would be a matter for a court to decide. It’s a question that ultimately, if put in place, would have to be adjudicated by the Supreme Court to determine constitutionality.”
All of this banter comes as appointed special counsel Robert Mueller begins the interview process with many of President Trump’s staff. With the democrats and the liberal media sitting on go, they will be looking for any opportunity they can find to tie Trump to the meddling fiasco. The reality is the issuing of any pardons would be viewed with great consternation.