With the increasing calls for holding the outgoing US president accountable for his responsibility in fueling violence and chaos, especially as his supporters stormed the Congress building, The New York Times revealed Thursday January 7, 2021, that Donald Trump discussed with his aides granting a presidential pardon for himself before His presidential term expires.
The American newspaper quoted two people with knowledge of the case confirming that Trump proposed to his aides to grant himself a presidential pardon, in a move that may be exceptional and unprecedented in American history.
Trump, according to the newspaper, had already shown an interest in the idea, as he had long asserted that he had the power to pardon himself, while his recent research with his advisers is a sign that he may be moving forward.
The American newspaper believes that Trump’s study of this matter is an indication of his conviction that his opponents may resort to legal prosecution after he officially left office on January 20, the day of the transfer of power to US President-elect Joe Biden.
The newspaper said that legal experts see Trump’s implementation of this order “dangerous”, because it makes presidents above the law, and it would protect them from any legal accountability for any crimes they committed during their presidential terms.
The newspaper also pointed out that the presidential pardon applies within the scope of federal law, and does not provide any protection against state crimes.
According to the newspaper, Trump asked his advisers about the degree of power he had in order to issue a presidential pardon, and he also asked his aides and allies for weeks, to make suggestions about who should be pardoned.
The “New York Times” pointed out that Trump’s offer of proactive amnesty to advisers and officials in his administration surprised many of them, because they did not believe that they were in legal danger, especially since accepting his offer may be considered an indication of their admission of guilt.
Calls to impeach Trump
Trump’s talks about the matter come amid Republican and Democratic voices, calling for his removal from office by implementing the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution.
The British newspaper, “The Independent”, reported that Vice President Mike Pence opposes the use of the twenty-fifth amendment to the Constitution to force Trump to step down from office, despite the demands of Democrats and some Republicans.
While Pence did not speak publicly about the possibility of resorting to this amendment, which was not previously used in the history of the United States, the newspaper quoted a source close to Pence as saying that the vice president opposes this radical step.
The newspaper said that this position of Pence is supported by many ministers whose support will be necessary to implement the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, noting that these officials “believe that such a measure would increase the current chaos in Washington” rather than solve it.
On Thursday, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for Trump to step down the day after his supporters stormed the Capitol Building, considering the Republican billionaire “a very dangerous person who should not continue in his position.”
Although many of Trump’s allies have turned against him, especially after his supporters stormed the Congress building in Washington, American lawmakers have called on members of the Trump administration and White House officials to remain in their positions to ensure a stable end to the presidential term, after a number of administration officials announced their resignation. A protest against supporters of the outgoing president storming the Capitol building.