Trump could try to pardon himself, but it is more likely that he could resign and VP Pence could pardon him, much like the ceremony on Tuesday, live and domestic. As a WaPo op-ed also shows he may be able to even further obstruct justice before leaving office by manipulating the Department of Justice.
Yet one tradition will continue as planned: The President of the United States will pardon the annual Thanksgiving turkey at the White House on Tuesday, according to a White House official. In a 2020 riddled with disappointments and disaster, the news Wednesday that the annual pardon will go on, is somehow both comforting and unsettling, and sure to ruffle some feathers.President Donald Trump has not had a public event on his schedule in 11 days. He's made just four official appearances since November 3, and he's only spoken publicly twice. With exception of golf on the weekends, and a visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Veteran's Day, he has not left the White House.www.cnn.com/…
The National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation is a ceremony that takes place at the White House every year shortly before Thanksgiving. The President of the United States is presented with a live domestic turkey by the National Turkey Federation, usually males of the Broad Breasted White variety.
— Mathius of Gaff (@mat_3rd) November 11, 2020
— Washington Post Opinions (@PostOpinions) November 10, 2020
He has two options.
- First, he could try to pardon himself. This is a risky move, as whether a self-pardon would be constitutionally valid is an unsettled legal question because no previous president has tried it. Most legal scholars agree that it’s not permissible, though, and if a Trump pardon of himself were later challenged and invalidated, he would be back to square one.
Alternatively, Trump could resign at some point before his term ends at noon on Jan. 20, 2021, leaving Vice President Pence to assume the presidency, however briefly — giving him the plenary power to pardon Trump. Thanks to the precedent that Ford set with Nixon, such a pardon, which Pence could also extend to members of Trump’s family, would probably be constitutionally secure if it covered uncharged crimes committed while Trump was in office.
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) November 18, 2020
— Bill Scher (@billscher) November 18, 2020
— SafetyPin-Daily (@SafetyPinDaily) November 18, 2020
— Jzikah (@jzikah) November 18, 2020