News & Politics

Former U.S. Attorney Cites Framers' Intent in Denying Trump Self-Pardoning Power

United States District Attorney Preet Bharara (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, said that if Trump pardoned himself, it would be a “self-executing impeachment.”

The liberal Democrat also said: “Whether or not there is an argument that is not what the framers could have intended.”

When in God’s name did a liberal ever care what the writers of the Constitution “intended”?

The Hill:

Bharara’s comments came in response to an earlier statement made by Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, in which the attorney said the president has the power to pardon himself.

Giuliani, appearing on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday morning, said Trump could pardon himself, though has no plans to do so.

“He’s not, but he probably does,” Giuliani, said on ABC.

“He has no intention of pardoning himself,” Giuliani said. “That’s another really interesting constitutional question: Can the president pardon himself?” he added.

Bharara’s and Giuliani’s comments follow after The New York Times published a confidential 20-page letter from Trump’s lawyers to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading an investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In the letter, attorneys argued that the president couldn’t have obstructed justice because he has authority over all federal investigations. Lawyers also wrote that tthe Constitution gives Trump the broad authority to, “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”

Of course, Bharara is hardly a disinterested observer. Trump fired him last year.

There is an argument for self-pardoning from a president. Trump’s lawyers made it. But Bharara is probably right: It would be an outrageous abuse of pardoning power — sort of like pardoning a Puerto Rican terrorist.  Trump would find little sympathy from Republicans in the Senate if he did so.

But I find it absolutely outrageous that any liberal would make an argument based on original intent. Their whole judicial philosophy is tied to the notion that the founders were a bunch of rich white men who had no feeling for women, slaves, or the working man and therefore, whatever their intent regarding any part of our founding document it is irrelevant.