Transcript for How far does the president’s pardon power go?
As we wait for vaccine approval there's also a lot of hope for a new relief package to help the millions still struggling during his pandemic senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. Said that up compromise is within reach but he stopped short of endorsing. The bipartisan plan backed by democratic leadership and some moderate Republican. President trump said today he would support another Coleman relief bill but it's unclear if he's referring to add bipartisan bill or a separate smaller one. From senator McConnell so. What would be and that bipartisan bill should it move forward 300 dollars a week in federal unemployment benefits. And the 160 billion in state and local lay. However the bill would not include another round. A stimulus checks but I was running out to strike a deal lawmakers have given themselves just one more week to sort things out. This is we learned today that 7121000. Americans filed for unemployment claims last week. The first time in two weeks those numbers and come down but he still higher than any pre pandemic record. Now as the clock ticks down on president trumps president say it's. Pardon time Howard shift gears to pardons and politics right now presidents often issue pardons in the weeks before they leave office. Sources tell ABC news the president trump. Is considering handing out pardons to an interesting array of people including members of his own family and even himself. A self parking. Can he do that. Well joining us now to discuss. I'm Gil reed Amar noted constitutional law professor at Yale university and lyric Berger professor Reich professor of public policy at Harvard university and an ABC news contributor welcome to you boats and professor Amar I could start start with you. A shelf part of don't let me just ask you first in general. How extensive is important power would the president for example be legally allowed part members of this really haven't even been charged with a crime. Yes our can generally speaking to issue. Any time. Daryn. Ryan has earned an issue for crimes occurring. In only needs or admiral crimes or stain on us. I'm lessons apply and in recent someone basis and are our enemy. And and are from those. They stick around positions. I am and Nancy and it's and Mary Steen. Oh you'll we're looking at the language right now on the screen the president shall have the power auction. To grab a prison pardons for offenses against the United States except in cases of impeachment is directly from the constitution so professor Lee electric right Kruger way we know that presidents do this at the end of their terms what about a president. The kinds of pardons. That so far key all the hand issues. And in this one we're talking about everybody from Joseph Rudi Giuliani took that tiger can compare. I want you are gonna number you know differently. In a presidential RE and a bitter are we see a lot of people who decide at their current use this. In ways that expense essentially a political capital and in a week or Tubal. Silly example with Obama administration and that there's there's a man rushed. In a number of our Greek and number I'll currently incarcerated individuals in nature we see somebody liked your war. Using a moment at it be any a residential arm. Ordered him to lead our end Richard Nixon. Not necessarily because it is ethical thing to do or but the and because. It is necessary the nation to move. We're seeing Allen Dwayne the administration is. Now turning to look at it and I'll see. To change. In this that we did in president preemptively RD in their friends and their cronies of being intimate and the like. As undemocratic. And that it is it not her latest with the American. Really want to see it's actually kind of in a democratic nation when it comes to crimes that. Being committed. And been brought there actually. And we should say there's no evidence at this point that these pardons for were present drums families or. Allies will. Will follow but I kill let me ask you legal experts seem to be divided right now I'm that question of self pardon. Kenny legally pardon himself Sean Hannity one of his main allies and Boston's has suggested he should do so the president twittering and Lawler investigation he thinks she's got that power. You think some. I don't. And this system and historically has said no personal and pardons and it's a very deep legal and it's simple as the person can be judged in his own. All the way back around a lot of biblical time. I'm right here actually. I William black owned this. Almost any isn't the Bible and I am revolution in Europe and our. What Blackstone. A mystery as. I'm. First principle of law now when can be dads whose own chase. And com. Where's so explicitly in the passage Wednesday. The constitution does. I'll ask law a mob homeland. Loss means the rule of law this has been the rule lot of men or she thousand years. If somehow he goes ahead and does it anyway I guess it may be a charge could be brought in federal court that. Principal would be tested in federal court and and you didn't mention as the constitution does. They're part of our test offense against United States federal so state law crimes would still be available for prosecution if there were any. Correct I'm and you're also corrects an armed it issued. I'm can be tested in court and there were each arm. The current Christie seen ardent new. RN. Away. Already being. I didn't and didn't see double jeopardy. And core when I went and aren't Alan. Ordinarily cards are almost a second example. Deep roots are blessed exterior in a bribe. Right now art and by the way. I'm in the given that bribery is. Angry back and teachable. Treason. Rivalry or other high crimes and misdemeanors. You issued an ardent in order to get lending. That would be a crime that. Many would be deprived her that the person he'd. Pour the armor the right now Caribbean and I'm. In addition correctly and it court asked. Pardon yourself. Right bribing yourself. Aetna. Isn't Koran arguably sex and pass all. Saw. It. And in an on and on. It is it it's questionable that I'd like Italy or red or Garnett does. What does this say this is yet another norm blustering moment that president trump is clearly consider he's done some it. Should I Wear wee hours of people we focus on present trouble all time he is the norm buster has been what does this say about the state of our politics and democracy. One good things to keep in mind here is at our democracy it tests it. A leak being made and something that is essentially Lee out. Were. And what this is. And it why we. Or actual between real X that would essentially. Has an idea norms and guard. Now guard reels are around they're so many things that are all right we know that norm erosion is once and Charles central. And a lot more IE. And so what we should be looking shoe on what we should be thinking about is the way in which you can. Non tradition all. Actually take some kind of legal idea is an instead of where to rely on this really took a know I. Asked him. Really alarming. What we should also are tube is back. We never been tasked the lady ever had a president has been so I don't. His idea norm staying or break in order essentially kind of ideas in the real. Now we're learning. But they stand in between us and actually keeping our democracy. Like. Congress and things like him will not lawyers and legal systems around that there are more fragile than ever it real. And it feels that way they read her girlish and the kill reed Amar thanks very much of that illuminating discussion on a deep tissue is your second thanks thank you Baath.
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