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Sat Jan 16, 2021, 01:25 AM

Expert on Lawrence O'Donnell says no reason Trump can't pardon the entire group of insurrectionists.

And, no, he doesn't need lawyers to draw up documents. He doesn't even need to write it down. At least according to former US pardon attorney (Bush 1 & Clinton admins), Margaret Colgate Love.

It sounds like Trump can (& will, because why not?) just film a video in which he says "I hereby pardon anyone who set foot on Capitol grounds on January 6, except any LEOs who tried to thwart the insurrection by my fan club."

She said past pardons of a delineated class have all been conditional, for instance on the pardoned persons doing community service. However, as we know, if it is not specifically required, Trump will not be constrained. Anyway, his condition could require them to yell, "Heil Trump!" And, obviously, they will.

None of them will be punished.

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Reply Expert on Lawrence O'Donnell says no reason Trump can't pardon the entire group of insurrectionists. (Original post)
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 OP
Sogo Jan 2021 #1
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #4
CentralMass Jan 2021 #2
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #5
Phoenix61 Jan 2021 #3
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #8
greenjar_01 Jan 2021 #6
TDale313 Jan 2021 #7
greenjar_01 Jan 2021 #10
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #14
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #11
global1 Jan 2021 #9
CentralMass Jan 2021 #12
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #13
trackfan Jan 2021 #15
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #17
Karadeniz Jan 2021 #16
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #21
Karadeniz Jan 2021 #22
moonscape Jan 2021 #18
pnwmom Jan 2021 #19
TwilightZone Jan 2021 #35
pnwmom Jan 2021 #40
Turin_C3PO Jan 2021 #44
triron Jan 2021 #48
Crunchy Frog Jan 2021 #20
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #24
Buckeye_Democrat Jan 2021 #23
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #25
wishstar Jan 2021 #26
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #31
atse Jan 2021 #27
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #32
TeamPooka Jan 2021 #28
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #29
jmowreader Jan 2021 #30
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #33
Hortensis Jan 2021 #34
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #39
Hortensis Jan 2021 #46
BeerBarrelPolka Jan 2021 #36
Thrill Jan 2021 #37
DFW Jan 2021 #38
dansolo Jan 2021 #41
Turin_C3PO Jan 2021 #45
brooklynite Jan 2021 #51
Vinca Jan 2021 #42
Evergreen Emerald Jan 2021 #43
brooklynite Jan 2021 #47
In It to Win It Jan 2021 #49
bluestarone Jan 2021 #50
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2021 #52
LiberalFighter Jan 2021 #53

Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 01:33 AM

1. Her point was that it would be an amnesty,

which, in general, is granted with conditions.

IMHO, I’m not sure he’ll go there.....They didn’t get him what he wanted....

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Response to Sogo (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 01:44 AM

4. Right. In general. But, in general, a POTUS doesn't behave like Trump.

We've seen it already. For the sake of 'unity' don't convict Trump. Next up, for the sake of 'unity,' don't convict the insurrectionists he incited.

As many Americans know, many firsthand, justice is too often miscarried.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 01:34 AM

2. It would be another layer of culpability that he would be owning up to.

He is just stupid enough to do it. Then again he probably nly likes his seditious militia's when they succeed.

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Response to CentralMass (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 01:49 AM

5. Normally, he hates "losers," so maybe them failing to murder Pence

& Pelosi will mean he won't protect them. But he's said to have been very happy with the harm they did pull off.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 01:39 AM

3. That's one experts opinion.

What happens if the AG refuses to drop the charges? Maybe it’s time to take this pardon power to the Supreme Court.

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Response to Phoenix61 (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 01:54 AM

8. I suspect we'll find out. n/t

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 01:49 AM

6. Did she address the actual limitation of the pardon power?

Article II Section 2 Clause 1

...he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He's being impeached for inciting the insurrection that included each individual's offenses. It's at least arguable that the Constitution explicitly excepts him from pardoning people involved in the impeachable offense in any way.

(The clause could also mean that the President can't grant a "reprieve" of an impeachment, which would make some sense for a separation of powers, but this meaning seems up in the air still).

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Response to greenjar_01 (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 01:53 AM

7. I was gonna mention the same thing.

At the very least it would be challenged, as it was directly tied to Trump’s recent impeachment

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Response to TDale313 (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 01:57 AM

10. Some people seem to read that clause as meaning that the President can't reverse an impeachment

Like, if a judge is impeached by the Congress, the President can't overrule the Congress. That reading does make some sense (in that it maintains the separation of powers), but it also makes sense to read it as an impeached President can't pardon co-conspirators in the impeachable offense. Surely something to be tested in court.

In any case, issuing a blanket pardon for the misdemeanor crimes I suppose is possible; I don't know how he would pardon the felonies without complete collapse of the GOP - these people killed a cop, and the storming in general is deeply unpopular.

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Response to greenjar_01 (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 02:24 AM

14. What might constrain normal people frequently has no influence on iDJT.

And the viability of the GOP is not high on his list of concerns. He probably thinks he can start his own party, and if so he may not be wrong about that.

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Response to greenjar_01 (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 01:59 AM

11. Yes. She said it doesn't mean what we would like it to mean.

If I understand her correctly, it just means he can't pardon himself for what he's charged with in an impeachment trial.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 01:55 AM

9. Earlier Today Here On DU I Asked The Question - What's The Worst Thing Trump Can Do Before He.....

leaves office.

Here's a link to that post and the responses: https://www.democraticunderground.com/100214934508

I asked this question because I know what I thought the worse thing he could do and I wanted to know if others here on DU had the same thought.

I didn't post what my thought was - because like one of the responses - I didn't want to give Trump any ideas for fear he might actually act on it.

Now - I see Lawrence O'Donnell asked the question and got the response on his show today. So the cat is out of the bag.

My thought was that the worse thing he could do before he leaves office is to pardon those people that participated in the insurrection at the Capitol Bldg on Jan 6th.

What a kick in the pants that would be - but I wouldn't put it past Trump to actually do that.

It's been his MO since he took office. Something happens that he's involved with. The MSM talking heads talk through the incident and speculate as to how Trump would react and what he could do.

I've always thought - because he listens so much to MSM news - that if he hears some of these suggestions by the MSM talking heads - that he looks at it like he has permission to do what they suggest and then he acts on it and actually does it.

Boy - I thought when Biden beat him on Nov 3rd that I would be able to feel better about things, get some sleep and quit worrying.

Didn't happen. I'm more wound up than ever - and that's why I'm up now instead of in bed - because I can't sleep.

I sure can't wait until Wednesday at Noon - but we still have 4+ days left of this deranged criminal to deal with.

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Response to global1 (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 02:04 AM

12. +1

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Response to global1 (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 02:12 AM

13. I know what you mean, on all of your points.

I said tonight while watching that segment that they shouldn't give him ideas. However, I pretty much doubt there's much awful stuff he could do that one of the evil bastards who advise him haven't already thought of.

I've been an insomniac since I was a kid, but at least before November 2016 I wasn't awake because I was incessantly terrified.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 02:38 AM

15. Jimmy Carter issued a blanket pardon to all Vietnam draft evaders

on January 21, 1977

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proclamation_4483

Gerald Ford had previously issued a partial amnesty.

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Response to trackfan (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 03:05 AM

17. Even if he'd lived to see & ardently support Trump, Goldwater would probably

not update his opinion: "Barry Goldwater, a supporter of the Vietnam War, referred to the proclamation as "the most disgraceful thing that a president has ever done."

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 03:04 AM

16. That was the most depressing interview of all time!!!!

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #16)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 03:29 AM

21. Ikr? But I'm choosing to let my anger override my depression.



No wonder Superheroes are so popular. They do what the human race seems unlikely to ever do--stamp out injustice.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #21)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 03:32 AM

22. Good point!

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 03:12 AM

18. I don't think he's inclined to do this because

he clearly is a bit spooked by potential liability, civil and criminal, which is why he mqde hostage videos. A pardon would negate his clumsy effort to distance about the violence.

He knows now what he did was not perceived well, he was financially harmed, people distanced, and I don’t think he’d see it benefitting him to pardon those folks he didn’t find appealing on the tapes.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 03:22 AM

19. Except no one really knows what the Constitution's language about the President's pardon power,

"except in cases of impeachment" really means.

It's never been tested.

Can a President who is in the middle of Congressional impeachment proceedings pardon anyone? Can they pardon people connected to the crime they've been impeached and are facing trial for?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 06:27 AM

35. It's pretty clear.

"Can a President who is in the middle of Congressional impeachment proceedings pardon anyone?"

Yes, impeachment has no impact on pardon power. Nor should it, frankly. If it did, there would be nothing stopping the GOP from perpetually impeaching Biden (assuming, for a moment, that they took the House in 2022) so he could never pardon anyone.

"Can they pardon people connected to the crime they've been impeached and are facing trial for?"

Yes. The language only refers to overturning an impeachment.

People keep asserting things like the inability to pardon while under impeachment. That assertion is simply false.

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Response to TwilightZone (Reply #35)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 06:58 AM

40. What makes you the Constitutional law expert?

Legal experts disagree, especially when the people a President pardons were involved in his impeachable offense.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/01/13/no-trump-cant-pardon-himself-impeachment-would-strip-him-that-power/

No, Trump can’t pardon himself or other insurrectionists. Impeachment would strip him of that power.

Congress can affirm what “except in cases of impeachment” means.


Reports indicate that President Trump is considering pardoning both himself and others related to the insurrection at the Capitol. At the same time, the House is rapidly moving forward with impeaching Trump for his role. The most coherent constitutional understanding suggests that if the House votes to impeach Trump — even before the Senate begins its trial — he is then barred from issuing a pardon either for himself or those related to the impeachment charges. Congress — not the Supreme Court — can move to decide on whether the president can pardon himself or others directly connected to the high crimes for which he is impeached.


Corey Brettschneider is a professor of political science at Brown University and the author of “The Oath and the Office: A Guide To The Constitution For Future Presidents.” He is also the editor of “On Impeachment: The Presidency On Trial.”

Jeffery K. Tulis is a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of “The Rhetorical Presidency.”

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Response to TwilightZone (Reply #35)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 08:26 AM

44. They had a law professor

on CNN the other day who disagreed with you. So it may be up to courts to decide.

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Response to TwilightZone (Reply #35)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 11:24 AM

48. Trump was impeached. It is not an ongoing act (in the House).

Republicans could file 'articles of impeachment' but they would never pass (in the current House).

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 03:28 AM

20. It could seriously harm his interests if he did. It would amount to a full confession that he did

in fact foment an insurrection. That wouldn't look so good in the impeachment trial. It would likely kill what's left of his business interests and any "prestige" that he may still enjoy. He would become an absolute pariah.

It could be challenged in court and found to be a bridge too far, even for the current Supremes to go along with.

The terrorists might be "pardoned" but they would still be guilty, and their lives would become a living hell. They would be unemployable, and maybe banned for life from all manner of public transportation and accommodations, let alone airline travel. Authorities ready to pounce the minute they stepped out of line, and throw the book at them.

It would be a millstone of shame to forever hang around the neck of the Republican Party. They could never claim to stand for law and order, or Blue lives matter ever again, unless they completely disavowed Trump. They would forever be the party of a thug beating a police officer with an American flag, and getting away with it.

He could do it, but if he does, I don't think he's thought through the repercussions. Hopefully he's on a tight enough leash that he can't.

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Response to Crunchy Frog (Reply #20)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 04:02 AM

24. You're making a reasonable argument here.

But, after 4 years of Trump in power, it's hard to imagine reason prevailing. He & RW media have enabled & emboldened purveyors of utter BS.

The video of that woman who flew to DC in a private jet to "stop the steal," where she's making it known that she absolutely does expect a pardon for herself, as well as for the rest of the Gang Who Couldn't Coup Straight, illustrates the absurdity so clearly. She's more annoyed than worried about that pesky threat of prison.

Meanwhile, I can practically guarantee that she supported every cop who's shot & killed her fellow Americans for far less, and that she'd also support jailing athletes who took a knee to protest such injustice.

I'll hold onto some hope that your scenario is realistic, but it's not easy.




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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 03:37 AM

23. How wonderful that justice is often shackled by the LAW.

If there's something in the laws that permits evil, you can be sure that Republicans will find it and gleefully point to it.

"Tee hee! It's allowed by the LAW!"

Now I recall why I had no interest in studying law*.

* Besides "God's laws" -- e.g., physics. (Not the man-created nonsense attributed to "Him" either.)

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Response to Buckeye_Democrat (Reply #23)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 04:07 AM

25. Yep. And you can be sure Rs will cry bloody murder any time

a Democrat even thinks of doing the same. It might be less infuriating if only Rs weren't such astoundingly blatant hypocrites.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 04:47 AM

26. Highly doubt he'll do that because he needs to blame them instead of taking any blame himself

He still has to face Senate impeachment trial where blaming the insurrectionists would be a better stance than to have already pardoned them for so viciously assaulting police officers and endangering members of Senate.

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Response to wishstar (Reply #26)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 05:47 AM

31. I wonder if he cares about being convicted by the Senate.

Even if conviction were far more likely than it seems, he might still be planning on pardoning himself. (Not believing he won't get away with it, since he doesn't like smarty-pants experts telling him what he doesn't want to hear.)

So, does he care if he can't hold public office again? If we ever get the truth, I'll bet we'll find he raked in big bucks in bribes, kickbacks, and other corruption during his pResidency.

On the other hand, it wasn't quite as easy a gig as he'd imagined.

He might expect to continue bilking his loyal cult, figuring even those not fool enough to commit violent crimes for him will keep up the monetary donations.

And maybe he thinks Vlad still loves him?

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 04:54 AM

27. One more very important thing!

Don't forget also that Trump can only pardon federal crimes. The rioters can also be charged at the state and local level. Unfortunately, DC is a federal territory, and they would get their charges dropped without some state government able to bring new ones. But already some state level prosecutors have stated that if any of the rioters came from their state, they are keen to level state charges against them. And there's some felony charge about crossing state lines with the intention to commit a crime that they've already talked about using.

The thing is, the vast, vast majority of the population in DC is black. and extremely liberal. Trump got only 5 percent of the vote there. Virtually none of the rioters are from DC itself, I'd guess. So Trump would take a huge reputation hit, yet the rioters would still be in serious legal trouble. Doesn't seem worth it.

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Response to atse (Reply #27)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 05:59 AM

32. Well, that shows how much I don't know.

I couldn't figure how the insurrection could be prosecuted except as a federal crime. Obviously, I'm no expert!

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 05:00 AM

28. they failed, like Rudy, so they don't get paid either is how trump thinks

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #28)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 05:18 AM

29. Yeah. Of course, you don't have to fail for him to fail

to pay. Yet the cult of Trumpsuckers is still there for him. In their case, as with Rudy's, I won't be the least bit sympathetic if he does stiff them.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 05:27 AM

30. It would definitely kill his reelection chances

All his opponents would need to do is build a series of commercials showing the terrorists trying to crush a police officer in a door, beating a police officer with an American flag, screaming "kill him with his own gun" and so on (maybe they should leave out Officer Sicknick's killing) and then throw up a card reading "Donald Trump approved of this. He granted amnesty to all these people."

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #30)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 06:25 AM

33. One would hope. But the fact that the great majority of R Congresspersons

felt free to vote against impeachment over this, and that almost no Rs seem wiling to say Trump committed an impeachable offense makes me worry.

I guess you're saying that he has some plausible(?) deniability now that he'd sacrifice by pardoning the insurrectionists? My fear is he'll frame it as a move toward "unity" and "healing" to pardon them.

Orwellian, yes. But isn't this the BS RW politicians & media are selling now? Dems are being divisive by trying to hold anyone responsible for the attempted coup, which they, of course, don't call a coup. Instead, the "protesters" were simply "knocking on the door of the Capitol" politely asking to be heard.

Propaganda like this got 74 million Americans to vote for that monster just a few months ago.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 06:25 AM

34. Just noting that MSNBC was on "pardon watch" "because it's Friday"

and that's apparently Trump's favorite time to drop them, but none were reported.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #34)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 06:55 AM

39. O'Donnell & Love did discuss the possibility of secret pardons.

If the secret were kept forever, it obviously wouldn't do the pardoned any good. But, it might be kept secret temporarily.

So, if what she said about pardons not even needing to be in writing is true, he could've texted out loads of pardons last night or left them in voicemails, only to be disclosed if and when necessary.


Wait, that's not funny.

Anyway, I wonder, is the Friday night pardon thing the old "nobody's paying attention then" news dump rationale, or is Trump thought to have some other more mysterious reason for end-of-the-week pardon sprees? Nothing good on Fox & too dark to golf?

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #39)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 11:04 AM

46. Lol, careful. It's dangerous in Trump's brain. Supposedly he's

currently abandoned being president to Pence while he spends time musing over pardons and noisy military send-offs. I think he has both Steves, Miller and Bannon, with him, though, along with input from other sociopaths, and that's not good.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 06:30 AM

36. We will know

We will know in less than 101 hours.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 06:33 AM

37. She's assuming Trump actually cares about those people

He doesn’t

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 06:54 AM

38. I can think of three reasons why he might not pardon them

1, None of his children or their partners were among them.

2.) The riot was unsuccessful in achieving its (i.e. his) goal.

3.At this point, he probably can't be bothered to look up what "insurrectionist" means.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:34 AM

41. He would have to pardon specific crimes

I don't believe that blanket pardons are valid, and can be challenged. I don't think Nixon's pardon was valid, but no one chose to challenge it.

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Response to dansolo (Reply #41)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 08:28 AM

45. Carter also blanket pardoned

people who avoided the Vietnam draft.

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Response to dansolo (Reply #41)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 11:51 AM

51. Why wouldn't Nixon's pardon be valid?

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:46 AM

42. I don't think he'll try because so many are now against him because his hostage video was a

betrayal in their eyes. Plus, he blames them for "Impeachment Part Deux."

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 08:22 AM

43. The problem is that he was impeached for leading it....

If the President was the getaway driver in a bank robbery, he would be just as culpable as if he drew the gun. I think there are limits to pardons.

For the sake of our democracy, any pardons around this insurrection attempt should be fought.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 11:06 AM

47. In 1977, Carter pardoned hundreds of thousands of draft resisters...

The issue in not CAN be, but WHY WOULD HE?

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 11:28 AM

49. I think it would give the Senate EVEN MORE reason to convict

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Response to In It to Win It (Reply #49)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 11:35 AM

50. THIS i think is the BEST reason!!

IF he did this i think it would help senators decide to REMOVE him, AND stop him from running again!!

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Response to bluestarone (Reply #50)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 05:28 PM

52. That sounds reasonable.

Unfortunately, reason isn't in style with Rs these days! 😱

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 05:33 PM

53. I wish Lawrence did not bring up that topic.

Why? Because I don't want Trump to get any ideas.

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