The Power of Self-Pardon: Trump’s Novel View

If a president was dumb enough to pardon himself that would be such an arrogant statement of power that the House would probably impeach him in a week and the Senate would convict him.

Newt Gingrich, Jun 5, 2018

It is a view that Charles I would have been proud of: The means by which one can forgive and exculpate oneself for purported wrongs. Admittedly, that out of sorts Stuart king only believed that one source was worthy of pardoning him: God and God alone.  It was the divine who had vested him with legitimacy; accordingly, it was only the divine that might judge him or remove his crown.  Oliver Cromwell proved otherwise and sneaked off his head.

Trump does not believe in Sky Creatures, and remains very terrestrial in his lusts and ambitions. He seems to be constantly jockeying for the next position, embracing less issues of policy as matters of expedient stance.  Those stances, written in water, alter with whirling consistency, leaving the pundit to lurch after the next novel interpretation.

Axiomatic to the Trumpland playbook are questionable interpretations of the US constitution.  The president finds the whole notion of checks and balances more than inconvenient: he finds them risible.

To that end, he is testing the water, largely as a means to banish Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller to the outer reaches of the political system. This forms a strategy of neutralisation that lies at the core of Trump’s legal approach, one that seeks to cut Mueller’s…

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