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Old July 9, 2012, 02:41 PM   #2483
Senior Member
Join Date: July 20, 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 10,167
I wonder also as to the following. Can the president pardon himself?
Article II Section 2 of the Constitution states that the President "shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment." Emphasis Added. President Ford set the precedent that pardons can be granted even if the recipient of the pardon has not yet been convicted, of even charged, with a crime, so the only way a President might be able to pardon himself would have to proactively pardon himself for crimes that he's not yet been charged with (the President cannot be charged with a crime while still in office). However, if impeachment proceedings were brought before the President pardoned himself, then his only option would be to convince the Vice President to pardon him upon taking office as was most likely the case with President Nixon and then-Vice President Ford.

All this being said, the chances of President Obama pardoning himself for F&F are, IMHO, extremely small. First, I find it doubtful that there is enough evidence to prove that the President was involved in or had direct knowledge of F&F. Secondly, pardoning himself would be, in effect, an admission of guilt that would be, at the very least, politically damaging in the extreme. Finally, the President pardoning himself is a political stunt that's never even been attempted before and may not even fly in the first place (I have a feeling that if it did, Nixon would've probably proactively pardoned himself before leaving office).
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