Boom! Lawyered: Pardon Me?

Imani Gandy & Jessica Mason Pieklo

Can Donald Trump pardon himself? What happens next if he tries? Whose fault is it that the pardon became so powerful? And how did the pardon even come to exist, anyway? Rewire.News legal eagles Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo answer all of these questions and more on the latest episode of Boom! Lawyered.

An edited excerpt:

Imani: [Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon] was a huge deal, especially because he didn’t consult with the Attorney General—not even a little bit. He wasn’t even like, “Hey, you think is a good idea? Nah?” No, nothing. There was no consultation, which is very bizarre seeing as this is an issue of the law, and you have an Attorney General who is the lawyer for the United States. Seems to me you ought to check in.

Jess: Especially on something that also has so much political backlash attached to it. I mean, there was no way, in fact, they didn’t know it was going to be a big deal. So why you would not at least get a thumbs up from your A.G.? I have no idea.

But I mean, look at the language. The language is so broad. It completely suggests that this was something that they were like, “Forget it. We’re just gonna do it and get it over with.” And what all is even Nixon pardoned for? Basically everything he ever did? I don’t know; where’s the limit?

Imani: Yeah, I mean the pardon itself says anything he did between 1969 and 1974—who knows what else he was doing during that time!

Transcript (PDF)