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A Self-Pardon Would Be Fitting a Tribute to Trump's Raging Narcissism—And Shows Need For Clemency Reform

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/12/05/self-pardon-would-be-fitting-tribute-trumps-raging-narcissism-and-shows-need

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So would the guillotine.

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…only if it was used 24/7 for months dregging the swamp called Washington, DC.

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I’m rooting for Trump to stick it the establishment/deep state and pardon Assange and Snowden. Think about it, he just got disowned by Deep Stater Barr. What better way for this narcissistic deutschbag to get back at Barr and others?

Caring for another human being is not in Trump’s playbook, but vengeance? Right up his alley.

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From Wikipedia and The Constitution of the United States:

“The President … shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of impeachment.”

“The U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted this language to include the power to grant pardons, conditional pardons, commutations of sentence, conditional commutations of sentence, remissions of fines and forfeitures…”

Note that the constitution says only that “The president shall have the power to grant reprieves and pardons…” and does not include or exclude any group or individual from benefiting from that power, including the president himself. It also does not specify any circumstance which is exempt except impeachment, not even sedition or treason. The Supreme Court likewise has not to date excluded a presidential self-pardon from this power.

From the Gerald Ford Presidential Library and Museum this excerpt from the proclamation pardoning Richard Nixon: (Emphasis mine)

"Now, THEREFORE, I, GERALD R. FORD, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9,1974."

I have stated many times that I am not a constitutional lawyer or scholar, so I may have missed something, but if Trump can openly and brazenly, without any legal blowback, ignore the results of a free, democratic election and openly engage in attempting to coerce other federal and state officials into aiding and abetting him in simply throwing out the election results to stay in power, why would he feel restrained from also just issuing a preemptive pardon for himself? Because that would be admitting to committing a crime?

Nonsense. He would just call it “fake news” and say that it was to prevent another “hoax” by his anti-American enemies. 40% of the people and 75% of Republicans would back him up. Democrats would say “let’s put this behind us and move on.”

I don’t know if Donald Trump will be still be alive in 2024, but if he is, he will run again, and he will most likely be elected again, probably running as the Republican candidate by acclamation. He will be holding rallies for the next four years as Mitch McConnell shuts down the government to prevent any Democrat from doing anything but making speeches pleading for “unity.”

That is how low this “great” nation has sunk. I never thought I would live to see this.

How it works above the parallel where the hereditary monarch was kept instead of an indirectly elected temporary one.

+ttps://www.canada.ca/en/parole-board/services/clemency/what-is-the-exercise-of-clemency-royal-prerogative-of-mercy.html

(Note that It’s not the decision of a single personage.)

If Trump keeps up the nonsense after Biden is sworn in, his ‘legal’ team may have to get up to speed on ‘seditious conspiracy’ in relation to the actions of their client…
+ttps://law.justia.com/codes/us/1999/title18/parti/chap115/sec2384/

“That is how low this “great” nation has sunk.”

The quotation marks are apt. For a long time, the ‘great’ has only really meant that the U.S. was bigger than average in a number of categories. In quantitative terms, it has lagged (or not caught up at all) behind other polities for around a century and a half in democratic reforms.

What has been perhaps one of history’s greatest propaganda coups, the ‘world’s greatest democracy’ baloney may finally becoming to an end. Trump may have made a worthwhile (if unconscious) contribution to its demise. A demise from which may realise a better attempt at democracy.

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. In 1915, the Supreme Court indeed said, of pardons, that “acceptance” carries “a confession of” guilt. [ Burdick v. United States (1915)](

That’s a common misreading, FYI. It does not carry a “confession” of guilt, but an “imputation” of it. It’s the acceptance of a pardon the court claims is tantamount to a “confession.” The problem with that common misinterpretation: the court was comparing immunity to acceptance of a pardon in a specific circumstance, prosecutors trying to get a newspaper editor to reveal his sources. By acceptance of a pardon, said editor could strip himself of his 5th amendment right against self-incrimination and be forced to reveal his sources. The catch? The editor believed he did not violate the law, there was no reason to accept a pardon. The court ruled he could turn down a pardon, as a result.

A lot of pardoned people don’t regard themselves as guilty. Nixon didn’t.

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Or full-blown fascism.

The Allies came to the rescue of Europe to save them from Nazism. Who will save us?

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If SCOTUS’ interpretation is correct and the President does indeed have the power to declare “remissions of fines and forfeitures”, the first thing Biden should do is restore full voting rights to Florida felons who’ve completed their sentences by remitting the often arbitrary fines imposed on them by that state’s lawless legislature.

I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) that presidential pardoning power only applies to federal crimes, and so if these people have been convicted by state or local jurisdictions, Biden would have no authority to dismiss their fines.

“Or full-blown fascism.”
Most unlikely that the U.S. would switch from neoliberal free-market capitalism to experiment with ‘Corporatism’ and ‘Syndicalism’ as did the Italian Fascists and the German National Socialists.
See: ‘Corporatism and the Ghost of the Third Way’
+ttps://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.693.939&rep=rep1&type=pdf

“The Allies came to the rescue of Europe to save them from Nazism.”

Not really. WW2 began as ‘round 2’ of the British and French empire’s attempt at countering German (and this time Italian) Imperialism. If Germany had stayed in its borders. Britain and France wouldn’t have done anything to save the German people from ‘National Socialism’. The British were quite happy fighting Germans and Italians regardless of their political ideology. It is true though, that in consideration of many American soldiers being of German and Italian heritage, the U.S. emphasized that its involvement in the European war was primarily against enemies of ‘freedom’ than particular nationalities.

Ultimately WW2 was an opportunity for the U.S.A to replace Britain as the world’s leader in finance and trade.

(You may also be interested in the origin of ‘Nazi’ - +ttps://www.etymonline.com/search?q=nazi)