Does Trump Know That Pardoning Himself Means He’s Admitting Guilt?

This Thanksgiving Donald Trump has expressed his appreciation for the holiday in his usual fashion: By watching untold hours of Fox News and other right-wing media, and tweeting furiously about how the election he lost decisively to Joe Biden was stolen from him. Anyone who thought that Trump might exhibit any traits of humanity other than those of a lying, paranoid, narcissist, is probably just as psychologically disturbed as Trump.

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Donald Trump, Prison

Among Trump’s Twitter tantrums, (twantrums?) he managed to squeeze in only two tweets (out of 46) that even acknowledged the advent of Thanksgiving. One simply said “HAPPY THANKSGIVING!” and included a link to an article about a Supreme Court ruling that “blocked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo from enforcing attendance limits at religious services.” Or more accurately, permitted New York’s churches to serve as coronavirus super-spreaders.

In the other tweet Trump wished a happy Thanksgiving to Gen. Michael Flynn, along with a full pardon. Flynn was Trump’s traitorous National Security Advisor, who twice pleaded guilty to crimes against the United States.

So both of Trump’s Thanksgiving tweets were highly politicized and focused on himself, rather than the nation and its people. That’s especially abhorrent at a time when the people are suffering from the effects of a deadly pandemic and a record number are going hungry, being evicted, or otherwise struggling to cope in difficult times. But Trump doesn’t care about any of that so long as his wealthy pals are enjoying a rising stock market and low interest yacht loans.

There was also a retweet by Trump that made a glancing reference to Thanksgiving:

Naturally, this is just another self-serving suck up to Trump by congressional bootlicker, Matt Gaetz. However, this one features a call for Trump to pardon himself. And by retweeting it he is effectively endorsing the idea. It isn’t the first time that Trump has proposed the notion of a self-pardon. In June of 2018 he tweeted that “I have the absolute right to PARDON myself.” That, of course, has never been established as a matter of law. But since when has Trump ever cared about little things like respect for the law?

There have been, though, credible interpretations of the Constitution that maintain that there is no right for presidents to pardon themselves. According to constitutional law professor Eric Muller of the University of North Carolina, the power to “grant,” as specified in the Constitution, implies a transfer from one party to another:

“Can Donald Trump pardon himself? Perhaps, but that’s not the question the Constitution requires us to ask. Can Donald Trump grant himself a pardon? The evidence, at least according to the text of the Constitution and its original meaning, says no.”

What’s more, The acceptance of a pardon carries with it an admission of guilt. As was found in the case of Burdick v. United States:

“There are substantial differences between legislative immunity and a pardon; the latter carries an imputation of guilt and acceptance of a confession of it, while the former is noncommittal, and tantamount to silence of the witness.”

Consequently, Trump would be, in effect, confessing to the crimes that he would be accused of if he were to accept a pardon either from himself, or from Mike Pence, or anyone else. Furthermore, since a pardon would remove any risk of self-incrimination, there would no 5th Amendment right to refuse a summons to testify against himself or any of his co-conspirators.

That 5th Amendment exemption also applies to those who Trump pardons, such as Flynn, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, and any of the other accomplices to his criminal acts. And that could put him in legal jeopardy for crimes that his self-pardon didn’t cover. Which means the real fun in this circus may still be yet to come.

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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

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3 thoughts on “Does Trump Know That Pardoning Himself Means He’s Admitting Guilt?

  1. Oh, my word, this is the best yet! Am Tweeting immediately!!!

  2. Of course, every ReichLiar called ANY pardon by Obama to be treasonous. Typical hypocrisy….

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