If Donald Trump thinks pardoning himself would push all of his legal and political problems under the rug, he is sorely mistaken.
According to MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber, if the president went ahead with a self-pardon, it would only fast-track his impeachment – or he would be forced to resign.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) June 4, 2018
Melber explained the parallels between Nixon and Trump:
The last president who did consider a self-pardon was ushered out of office under the threat of impeachment. It was the same period when the DOJ said the president cannot pardon himself – something Nixon never grasped because he claimed presidents could commit crimes and make them legal by being president. Nixon thought the president’s power was basically above the law.
Trump will face the same fate as Nixon if he pardons himself
With each passing day, Trump appears to be sprinting toward the same political cliff that Nixon threw himself off of at the tail end of his presidency. Just today, in fact, the president said he had the “absolute power” to pardon himself.
As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018
But the history here is clear, even if Trump is ignorant of it. The president cannot pardon himself, and as Ari Melber pointed out on Monday, the Department of Justice made that clear in the Watergate era when Nixon tried to convince himself that he had absolute authority.
In Trump’s efforts – just like Nixon’s – to save himself, he is making it much more likely that his presidency will collapse. And by leaving the door to a self-pardon open, Trump and his blind loyalists are essentially admitting that he is guilty of something.
After all, a pardon can only be granted for someone convicted of a crime. By floating the idea that Trump can pardon himself, he and his legal dunce Rudy Giuliani are essentially admitting guilt.
All of this smells like one last-ditch effort by a president who knows the house of cards is about to come crashing down.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.