President Trump is so testy about the Russia probe that he may be testing the boundaries of his authority.
President Donald Trump has asked his aides and lawyers about the extent of his power to grant presidential pardons to aides – to family members and even to himself.
On Thursday the Washington Post reported that a source close to the president said lawyers are taking Trump’s request seriously enough to look into it.
While the president does wield the authority to pardon White House aides and even family members he does not have the power to pardon himself – according to memos written by President Richard Nixon’s legal team in 1974 during the Watergate scandal; stated plainly: ‘the President cannot pardon himself’.Trump could seek a pardon but it would require a complicated process.
According to Nixon’s legal team a president could come up with a reason to temporarily step down under the terms of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment of the Constitution – allowing the vice president to step in as acting president to issue the pardon.
‘Thereafter the president could either resign or resume the duties of his office’ the Nixon era memo reads.