Self-pardon? It might not go how Trump thinks – By Josh Gerstein (Politico) / January 13 2021
An unprecedented move by President Donald Trump to grant himself a pardon during his remaining days in office could divide his handpicked Supreme Court majority.
Court-watchers are bracing for an epic, intra-Federalist Society clash that could determine whether Trump — and future presidents — can declare themselves immune from criminal investigations even after leaving the White House.
“I think it’s a very close question whether it would ultimately be allowed to go forward, but I think there’s a chance a self-pardon might be struck down and be found to be the only limit on the pardon power,” said Kristin Hucek, a former lawyer in the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney.
The Constitution contains no explicit bar to a president giving himself or herself a pardon, but some scholars contend the founders implied that the clemency power should not be used for self-dealing.