Why didn’t Trump issue *more* corrupt pardons? State Law, Politics and Strategy

My article in the UK Independent: “Why didn’t Trump pardon himself and his family? It could be strategic.”

I offer my conjecture about why Trump pardoned so *few* cronies this week: Pardons can backfire… like I think they will for Steve Bannon because he faces even more state prosecutions and more backlash for receiving this pardon.

And while some have argued (unpersuasively) that impeachments disable a president’s pardon power as a matter of constitutional law, the events of January suggest that a House impeachments and a looming Senate trial had an effect (politically!) on the pardon power.

Finally, the remarkable number of pardons for corrupt former Republican congressmen or the cronies of current Republican congressmen may be Trump trying to stay in the good graces of Congressional Republicans… or recruiting politicians to his possible new “Patriot Party.”

Author: Jed Shugerman

Legal historian at Fordham Law School, teaching Torts, Administrative Law, and Constitutional History. JD/PhD in History, Yale. Red Sox and Celtics fan, youth soccer coach. Author of "The People's Courts: Pursuing Judicial Independence in America" (2012) on the rise of judicial elections in America. I filed an amicus brief in the Emoluments litigation against Trump along with a great team of historians. I'm working on "The Rise of the Prosecutor Politicians," a history of prosecutors and political ambition (a cause of mass incarceration), and "The Imaginary Unitary Executive," on the myths and history of presidential power in America.

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