Outgoing President Donald Trump has discussed the possibility of pardoning himself with his staff and advisors in recent days as his term ends.
According to the New York Times, Trump, who has 12 days left in office, has raised the matter in recent days. No president has attempted to pardon himself and the act could add to a long list of atrocities by Trump and his administration, which includes riling up his supporters to storm the Capitol Wednesday.
According to the Times, Trump is growing nervous that when he leaves office Jan. 20., a Biden-controlled Justice Department will attempt to imprison him. Biden has nominated former Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland to serve as attorney general.
Calls have been growing for lawmakers to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office before his term runs out. Garland will have to be confirmed first and whether he intends put Trump in jail is sure to be a question Republican lawmakers will ask.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday President Trump condemned the actions of his supporters. She took no questions before jetting off the stage.
“I am here to deliver this message on behalf of the entire White House,” McEnany told reporters. “Let me be clear: The violence we saw yesterday at our nation’s Capitol was appalling, reprehensible, and antithetical to the American way. We condemn it, the President and this administration, in the strongest possible terms.”
Trump himself put out a video Thursday saying he was outraged by his supporters’ actions and quickly and immediately called the National Guard. However, it was reported that Vice President Mike Pence actually called in the National Guard after Trump refused.
Additionally, lawmakers are asking for Trump’s term to end early and multiple members of his administration have quit since the incident. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Eline Chao, who is also Mitch McConnell’s wife, handed in their resignations. Special Envoy for Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney has also quit.
That leaves Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson as the only original member of Trump’s administration still serving.
Only one president has been granted a pardon. Richard Nixon was granted a pardon from his successor, Gerald Ford, after the 1974 Watergate scandal. At the time, the Justice Department issued a memo saying a self-pardon would be unconstitutional after Nixon considered it himself, according to The Hill.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Thursday if Pence refuses to invoke the 25th Amendment, Trump could face a second impeachment for his actions. Such a move has never happened in U.S. history.