Trump Declines Option to Pardon Himself

Former President Donald Trump revealed that he was presented with the opportunity to issue a self-pardon before leaving the White House in January 2021.
In an interview with NBC News, Trump stated that he chose not to pardon himself, not because he couldn’t, but because he didn’t want to. He mentioned that he had received advice from attorneys suggesting that he could pardon himself if he wanted to, but he didn’t disclose their names.
Trump acknowledged that some people had warned him against self-pardoning, as it would generate negative public perception. He ultimately decided against it, stating that he would never give himself a pardon.
CNN previously reported that during his final days in office, Trump consulted with several aides and lawyers, including White House counsel Pat Cipollone, regarding his self-pardon power.
When asked about the possibility of self-pardoning if he were to serve a hypothetical second term, Trump expressed doubt, claiming his innocence and the unjust nature of the charges against him.
At the time of the interview, Trump faced no criminal charges, but it is worth noting that a president’s pardon powers do not extend to state crimes, such as the charges he faced in Georgia and New York.
Furthermore, a Justice Department memo from 1974, in the context of the Watergate scandal, argued that a president cannot pardon himself, although it is not legally binding.

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