(trendingpoliticsnews) – Former President Donald Trump gave a robust rationale for why he refused to pardon himself during his final days in the White House.
The Republican leader, speaking with NBC News, said some of his most trusted lawyers assured him such a pardon would be legal, and even preferable, should the expected scrutiny of Trump’s involvement in the J6 riots come to fruition. However, doing so would look “terrible,” Trump said.
“I said the last thing I’d ever do is give myself a pardon. I could have given myself a pardon. Don’t ask me about what I would do. I could’ve the last day, I could’ve had a pardon done that would have saved me all of these lawyers and all of these fake charges by these Biden indictments, they’re all Biden indictments,” Trump said.
“I could’ve pardoned myself. You know what I said? I have no interest of even thinking of that. I never even wanted to think about it… It’s a very powerful thing for a president. What did I do wrong? I didn’t do anything wrong,” he added.
The moment of reflection by President Trump suggests he is not phased by four criminal indictments, two of which allege he interfered with the outcome of the 2020 election against then-candidate Joe Biden. President Trump has maintained his innocence on all counts and gracefully appeared for arraignments without complaint, taking fingerprints and mugshots no different than any other American in the criminal justice system.
President Richard Nixon, bogged down by the Watergate scandal, sought legal opinions for a self-pardon in 1974. Three days before his resignation, the Justice Department concluded, “Under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, the President cannot pardon himself.” However, the theory has never been tested and attorneys for President Trump argued the contrary.
Fearing his return to the White House, Democratic prosecutors in Manhattan, Georgia, and the Biden Justice Department have launched sweeping investigations alleging President Trump abused the powers of his office. Doing so, say critics, suggests that they are admitting they cannot beat him in a fair election and are instead weaponizing the court system against President Biden’s leading contender in next year’s election.