Friday, July 21, 2017

Told You This Was Coming

The day after Trump was elected, I asked the following:

From the WaPo today:
Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller’s Russia investigation

Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort.

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.

Trump’s legal team declined to comment on the issue. But one adviser said the president has simply expressed a curiosity in understanding the reach of his pardoning authority, as well as the limits of Mueller’s investigation...
Once the GOP elected this depraved man-baby, it was only a matter of time before he would start raiding the constitutional goody closet.


Hubert Vale said...

If Derr Leader pardons himself that will mark the end of our democracy. 😩

Mark Dobrowolski said...

I'm getting the impression that Trump's lawyers are conducting a legalistic defense instead of a political one. Impeachment isn't a legal trial but a political one conducted not before a judge, but in the senate.The bad part of all this is the setting of precedent involved. Will the Supreme Court assert jurisdiction over impeachment proceedings, a violation of the constitution? Will the writings and utterances of the president be disallowed because he was not mirandized!?

Habitat Vic said...

Minor quibble. If tRump gets away with pardoning himself, then its the end of our democracy. Specifically, if House Repubs don't start impeachment proceedings, much less the Senate convict. Trump pardoning himself and/or ordering his AG (or his subordinates) to stop investigating a potential crime is literally the example for impeachment found in the Federalist Papers.

And if this happens? In the immortal words of the great philosopher Private Hudson: "Now what the fuck are we supposed to do? We're in some real pretty shit now, man." "That's it, man. Game over, man. Game over!"

Dave McCarthy said...

Not the FIRST or LAST time we'll find Driftglass WAY ahead of the curve.

trgahan said...

Of course he'll pardon himself and the rest of the crime organization inner circle if he can....and strip as much copper wire out of White House as they can get. And 33% of America will firmly believe he was forced to do it because liberals .

I'm more annoyed how the Gingrich Rule will make him a cable news elder statesmen spending the rest of his days telling how liberals unfairly persecuted him and America just wasn't ready for his glorious leadership as Chuck Todd nods along and says nothing.

Unknown said...

If he goes through with pardons, doesn't that mean he/they cannot claim 5th Amendment protections if deposed on the matters involved? Acceptance of the pardon also implicitly indicates acceptance of guilt on the part of the pardoned. (Not that it matters to them: it's not wrong if Republicans do it, only anyone else.)

Knight of Nothing said...

If I was George Soros, I'd mail you another big check.

Dark Avenger said...

Yes, the 5th Amendment means if he pardons anyone they can't incriminate themselves with their testimony.

XtopherSD said...

I just did a Google search. I typed "can the" and the first suggested search was "can the president pardon himself"


Lawrence said...

The money laundering is probably fair game for AG of New York as well. My first thought is self deportation to Russia, but if he's not President anymore is he of any use to Vlad?

Robt said...

First, may I have one of those prepackaged pardons.
I need to either rob a bank or rig the Lotto. It is a niche in the job creation industry.

Since the presidential pardons are given by a president.

Then is it not reasonable to consider the very next president can use his presidential power to taketh away former president's pardons?

I mean if Trump can Executive Order away all of Obama's EOs. Why not?

Robt said...

We know for sure, the president has the power to F___K himself and others..

I am positive three Supremes will put out their latest hit off the album titled,
" The dark far right side of the bench".

The number one hit off the album,
"Just another one timer because self induced irreparable harm"

Lyrics written by Gorsuch and music written by Thomas and Alito.

Special appearances by Roberts , on lead vocals and Kennedy of tambourine.

dinthebeast said...

I just read that presidential pardons only work for federal criminal offenses. So any enterprising state AG can still go after him, and what's more, civil actions can still be brought.
This one, for example:

Which, should it survive the motion to dismiss, would then open up discovery:

"And that means the plaintiffs will get discovery.

The pleading is rich—very rich and intentionally so, I suspect—with allegations that will provide for plausible discovery requests against all kinds of actors and on all kinds of subjects. It makes reference to the President's tax returns, for example. It names a large number of individuals, whose depositions plaintiffs might plausibly seek. One of the defendants is the campaign itself, meaning that the campaign's agents, actors, employees, and documents, are all potentially subject to discovery. So if I'm right that the suit eventually survives that initial motion to dismiss, it will immediately become a gold mine for journalists and investigators. And it will present an intense set of headaches for the Trump forces both inside and outside of government. Think Paula Jones, but not about a single act of alleged harassment. Think Paula Jones—only about everything."

-Doug in Oakland

Unknown said...

@ dinthebeast
That.....THAT is good stuff. I could not read all 46 pages, but I got though almost half of the complaint. It's broad, and rightfully so as it would be expected, but there's enough there that's directly relevant to the plaintiffs as to warrant discovery just on those relevancies alone. And the media-disseminated results of the discovery on that front could be enough to further force a Justice Dept or Senate Committee hand. This could be the one where you buy in on popcorn futures.
As the Lawblog author Wittes states:
"So watch this one closely. It'll be a sleeper for a while, but If I were the Trump forces, I'd be very worried about it."

Thanks for the tip there.

- Life at 45 RPM

Jimbo said...

From what I've read, the President can only pardon people for acts committed as federal officials while he was in office. So, if that's correct, that means all the shenanigans during the campaign are non-pardonable and certainly all the money laundering by Trump of illegal Russian money that has been going on for decades is non-pardonable. That means he can pardon Prince Jared for messing up his SF86 form repeatedly and that's about it oh and that Confederate AG Sessions for obstruction of justice.