In his prime tweeting time, bright and early last Monday, President Trump proclaimed:
“Numerous legal scholars?” I harrumphed to myself: “come on.” Given that no president has ever been crazy enough to try it, the self-pardon is a novel question of constitutional law. When I first looked into the issue last year, I could find only two law review articles devoted to the subject, one pro, one con.
But sure enough, in the week that followed, “numerous legal scholars” chimed in with impressive confidence. Jack Goldsmith has a useful roundup over at Lawfare, noting that while the “constitutional text does not speak overtly to the issue and there is no judicial precedent on point… that doesn’t stop people from voicing strong opinions” on each side of the issue.
Since Goldsmith’s post, two more right-leaning legal heavyweights have made the case for the self-pardoning power. In the Wall Street Journal, Richard Epstein insists that