Donald Trump to ‘PARDON himself’ as calls for impeachment grow over Washington riot
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As President, Mr Trump is able to issue clemency to citizens “to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment”. While he has previously floated issuing himself and family members a pardon, a report from the New York Times claims Mr Trump is now considering the legal implications of such a move.
Acts of clemency issued by Mr Trump could include a commutation of any sentence or an outright pardon nullifying legal consequences for a crime.
The New York Times holds the President has asked aides what the legality of issuing himself a pardon would be.
Mr Trump has told close aides he intends to issue himself clemency as his Presidency comes to an end, according to the report.
Previous reports since the November election claimed the President has considered issuing himself and family members a pardon ahead of any legal action.
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Mr Trump has referred to pardoning himself throughout his presidency, in particular during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the President’s ties to Russia.
He said at the time: “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 2017 Mr Trump commented: “While all agree the U.S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us?”
No President has ever granted themselves a pardon, but Richard Nixon was pardoned by his successor Gerald Ford in 1974 after the Watergate scandal.
Claims the president is preparing to issue himself and family members a pardon came after Democrats and Republicans blamed him for the Washington DC protests.
Mr Trump told Save America rally attendees, ahead of Congress certifying the US election results, that supporters should “walk down” to the Capitol building and repeated baseless claims the election was “stolen”.
Trump supporters then broke into the Capitol building forcing Congress to evacuate.
Four people died during the riot, with one woman, Ashli Babbit, shot in the neck by police and three others dying in medical emergencies.
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Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, Democrat leaders of the House of Representatives and Senate, called on Vice President Mike Pence to trigger the 25th Amendment designed to usurp a President “unfit” for office.
Democrats have also filed articles of impeachment against Mr Trump over “abuse of power” due to the Washington DC protests.
Democrat congresswoman Ilhan Omar drafted the articles shortly after the riots, and said on Twitter a motion to remove the President from office will be filed “most likely tomorrow”.
Should the motion pass, it would mark the first time a sitting President has been impeached twice.
The outgoing President previously drew condemnation for his pardons, after issuing former campaign staff and officials’ clemency.
Mr Trump has pardoned his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, associate Roger Stone, and Charles Kushner, a real estate developer and father of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
The New York Times report also claimed Mr Trump is considering a pardon for rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black.
Mr Trump’s final day in office will be January 19, ahead of Mr Biden’s inauguration the next day.
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