Donald Trump has never learned about the consequences in life, even with his father, who bailed him out financially each time his debts came in for payment while he overspent in his personal and business life. Well, Trump’s father is no longer alive to bail him out as the president finds himself in another bind that he created when he urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, resulting in death, vandalism, and the seizing of a federal building, leaving Americans horrified over the spectacle. Trump supporters physically attacked and injured numerous police officers, climbed the Capitol walls, and broke windows to gain entry.
The New York Times reports that “The White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, warned Mr. Trump that he could face legal exposure for the riot given that he had urged his supporters to march to the Capitol and ‘fight’ beforehand.”
“The president had appeared to White House aides to be enjoying watching the scenes play out on television,” the report states.
To make matters worse, although not unexpected with someone like Trump who thinks he’s above the law, the president “has suggested to aides he wants to pardon himself in the final days of his presidency, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions, a move that would mark one of the most extraordinary and untested uses of presidential power in American history.”
The newspaper notes that the discussions on pardoning himself occurred in recent weeks, and it was not clear whether he has brought it up since he incited supporters to march on the Capitol.
No president has pardoned himself, so the legitimacy of prospective self-clemency has never been tested in the justice system, and legal scholars are divided about whether the courts would recognize it. But they agree a presidential self-pardon could create a dangerous new precedent for presidents to unilaterally declare they are above the law and to insulate themselves from being held accountable for any crimes they committed in office.
Well, if it’s a “dangerous new precedent,” you know that Trump will make that move. The president might want to consider pardoning his son, too, since Donald Trump Jr. whipped the crowd into a frenzy by telling his MAGA audience that Republican members of Congress who did not back the pro-Trump efforts to overturn the election results that “We’re coming for you.” And they did.
You can read the full report here.