Lawsplainer: Can the President Pardon Himself?
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Lawsplainer: Can the President Pardon Himself?

October 24, 2019


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  1. Love the ad at the end–very appropriate.

    I doubt Trump would pardon himself, because he lacks the ability to admit that he did anything wrong. As for the Supreme Court, I think Trump's efforts to pack the Court with conservatives might have the secondary goal of ensuring favourable ruling for his attempts to undermine constitutional principals.

  2. Objection: President self-Pardon is not possible for a much simpler reason. It is Paradoxical. It is the Barber Paradox <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barber_paradox>. No lawyers required, sorry.

  3. Supreme court has decided they can interpret the scope of presidential power, how is this not falling under the umbrella of being a Judge in own case?

  4. President Gerald Ford granted Nixon, Ford's predecessor as president, a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he might have committed against the United States while president. In particular, the pardon covered Nixon's actions during the Watergate scandal

  5. I think it makes sense to me that being the head of the executive branch, a president can't be indicted. I mean, if those who do the indicting work for him, how would that make sense? Now, maybe there are rules saying that Congress can bring an indictment. Ok, but otherwise, I would think that the president must first be successfully impeached and then indicted. Thus, there would be no question of the president pardoning himself. If a president could pardon himself, then indicting him (and trying him) while he's president would be nonsensical. So, any way you look at it, it doesn't add up. Of course, whatever the rules say, they only work if people follow them. Trump could declare that the constitution doesn't apply anymore and he is emperor and if the right people go along with it, then bam it's done.

  6. Objection! SCOTUS is already packed with Trumps obedient minions, so when Trump pardons himself, then Scotus will agree.

  7. What I found interesting is that in order to accept a pardon, it is necessary to admit wrongdoing. I cannot even begin to imagine Trump ever being willing to say "I was wrong" much less "What I did was wrong."

  8. I can't tell if he is anti Trump or pro Trump, and that's the way it should be. He is just giving us un doctored information, and not letting his personal feelings or politics taint the value of his information. My hat's off to you sir.

  9. Wouldn't the president pardoning himself be a form of obstruction of justice, which he would the need to Re pardon himself creating this never ending loop?

  10. So if a pardon is always an admission of guilt, I'm curious what crime Richard Nixon accepted guilt for in his acceptance of his pardon. I have read the language of the pardon. It's not a pardon for a specific crime, but rather a blanket pardon for any crimes he may have committed as president. I'm not sure how one admits guilt in any meaningful way without that admission relating to a specific act.

  11. I believe their plan is for Trump to step down around a week before his term ends and then to have Pence pardon him. Does that law about impeachment apply if it's a different person?

  12. You're overly political in these videos. I don't appreciate that. I don't think I'll stay subscribed, I get so much politics, I don't need a smart lawyer doing it under the guise of being apolitical.

  13. Objection:

    If the President pardons himself, he must admit guilt before the pardon takes hold.
    Once the admission of guilt is established, then the impeachment process may start, of which the President cannot pardon that.

    So he should never pardon himself, it will start an impeachment process by default, or it should, the way I see it.

  14. Could any of President Trump's many MANY tweets be used as evidence, if he tweets something that incriminates him?

  15. If a president cannot pardon in the case of impeachment, could a president pardon a former president who has already been impeached and successfully removed by the senate? Similar to the Nixon case I suppose, but with Nixon he resigned before being removed. Does that change the legal precedent for his pardon?

  16. my this is its only for federal crime. so their for he cant be inpeched for a crime buse that can only be a federal crime

  17. Objection: if a pardon is an admission of guilt, and if the individual was not the president facing impeachment, would president Trump not have the right to pardon Manafort and others? Their admission would, of course, be bad for his presidency, but as it would not in this case be an obstruction of justice, be permissible under the constitution?

  18. At the beginning of the explanation of what a pardon is, you said that would have admit to the underlying crime. Does this simply mean pleading guilty at trial or does it include a subsequent guilty verdict after a not guilty plea?

  19. Trump fans: Trump didn't do anything wrong! So he should be allowed to pardon himself!

    Anybody with a brain: A pardon means you did something wrong.

    Trump fans: Well that doesn't matter.

  20. Yes, learn Russian to prepare for hiding in Russia to avoid prosecution in the States, haha.  You can have breakfast with Snowden, lol.

  21. If a president could self pardon, nothing would stop a president from killing everyone in Congress and declaring themselves King. I believe that's Trumps plan.

  22. "except in cases of impeachment". That means pence couldn't even pardon him. Also new York is going to get him. I hope… I didn't know it only applies to fed law not state law. Thank you.

  23. If the pardon requires the person to admit the crime, Trump will not self-pardon. This will incriminate himself after all his denials. This will provide more fire on himself and the Republican party that all the things the Democrats did in the past months have been justifiable. This will really hurt the House and Senate representatives who aggressively defended Trump and highly possible they will have to retire as damage control. It will be really messy if he self-pardon.

  24. You spoke of DC potentially becoming a State. I find the idea unconstitutional, however, I also find there electoral votes dubious as well and they're a fact of the current electoral college.
    Therefore, what is the legal justification for the Federal district's claim for self rule given the special reason for it's existant?
    Follow up, would they at least exempt or move all unique Federal offices and officials to a new special Federal district or zone to prevent the federal government from meeting within any member State giving unjust influence?

  25. Seems pretty black and white. Can’t imagine how anyone could interpret “except in cases of impeachment” as the president can pardon himself while being impeached.

  26. The Cheeto in charge, and the GOP, have proven time and time again that they don't give a shit about the Law or the Constitution.

  27. I think this video needs updating….. no doubt Trump does not believe he has done anything wrong so will not pardon himself, What happens if a court finds a president guilty – can he retrospectively pardon himself

  28. Could you please do a video on the lawsuit against CBS and Star Trek Discovery over plagiarism wrt the indie game Tardigrades?

  29. As great as you are at explaining law, as well as legal concepts and procedure, you may have missed your true calling of advertising.

  30. Mike Pence would pardon him. If Trump is impeached Pence becomes president and carries on Trumps agenda. Impeachment is useless. It is likely that even if he is impeached he will be allowed to remain a setting president. There is a minor law that the president may have broken asking the ukranian president about Biden but it's not enough to put him out of office

  31. Really, I more concerned about whether he will leave willingly. Whether impeached, or voted out, would he go? Or would have to be forcibly removed? Or will he be arrested immediately for his crimes in New York?

  32. It's so interesting watching videos from really, not even long ago, and seeing how many people were duped by the Russia hoax.

  33. I've never understood the argument that he can just pardon himself, like it's some sort of great defense.
    In admitting guilt, you would guarantee whatever impeachment proceedings results find against you.

  34. That's really interesting My assumption before starting this video was backed up by your opening statement about Constitutional limitations. To find our that legal precedent and the Supreme Court might come into play says a lot about why legal docs are so frickin hard to read.

  35. So the Supreme Court might decide a president cannot self pardon, based on a fundamental precept that no one can be the judge of their own case.
    Any dispute about the Supreme Court's authority here was settled long ago in Marbury v Madison, when the Court … found for itself?

  36. A President cannot be indicted for a crime.
    Pardons address federal crimes.
    Therefore a President cannot pardon their self because they cannot be indicted until they are removed through impeachment or complete their term.
    The pardon power does not work on impeachment because it is not a judicial process that addresses criminality. It has no real due process.
    So to get a pardon for crimes committed during his Presidency (that he may face indictment for once removed or completed his term), he will need to obtain one from his successor.

  37. So, the logical progression of events:
    1) Trump decides to self pardon for whatever crime he is being accused of. This, by neccessity, is an admission of guilt.
    2) As a sitting president cannot be charged with the crime, his pardon would not come into effect until AFTER he is removed from office anyway.
    3) Supreme court nullifies said pardon, simultaneously, an impeachment hearing is held, As the president has already admitted guilt, the hearing is a foregone conclusion.
    4) Trump is impeached, he has no pardon.
    5) Trial.

  38. Stating that a president can't be judge in his own case is a moot point. When a president issues a pardon, he is not acting as judge. He is shielding a person from penalty of law. And the person accepting the pardon is admitting guilt.

    A self-pardon would mean that, once the president was out of office, he could not be tried, fined, or jailed. But in the impeachment, it would be treated as a confession. As a practical matter, he would be removed from office immediately, but untouchable afterward.

    Now, it is no surprise that the Supreme Court did a power grab and declare unanimously that everything is subject to their review. There is corruption in anyone who wants the job. And the Supreme Court does not apply the Constitution in good faith. For a rather obvious example, the Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to a jury trial in all criminal cases — no exceptions. But the Supreme Court decided that all doesn't mean all and that certain cases are below a "seriousness threshold" and allowed defendants to be declared guilty in a kangaroo court.

  39. Re: "I hear there are many job opportunities
    for senior campaign officials in Russia, and it always helps to learn the language of your employer."
    Good advice for Trump et al.

  40. Ok so question, would the pardon being nullified count as double jeopardy? Meaning he pardons himself (he admitted guilt) supreme court nullifies the pardon, is he now able to be tried? Also would then any plea besides guilty be counted as purgery? Or will double jeopardy go in effect and he is essentially saved from this crime/trial?

  41. Now that we're truly in the middle of the impeachment/Syria/Ukrainian thugs/Guiliani madness, I'd love to hear your take on some or all of it. What the heck is going on?!!!

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