A look at the president's pardon power and how it works

PBS NewsHour

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrives at a campaign rally for Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump in Phoenix, Arizona, June 18, 2016. President Donald Trump has exercised his pardon power for the first time, using it to pardon former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution says: "The President … shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment." The president's power can only be used to pardon someone for a federal crime, not a state one. HOW DOES THE PARDON PROCESS USUALLY WORK?

Can President Trump pardon himself?

PBS NewsHour

The presidential pardon is an impressive and unique power: the president can pardon virtually anybody, and he answers neither to Congress nor the courts before issuing these notes. An enterprising story from the Washington Post on Thursday suggested President Donald Trump is considering pre-emptively pardoning himself and his campaign aides, as special counsel Bob Mueller's investigation into possible collusion and obstruction of justice continues. It is, at this point, too early to tell whether the president would take such a drastic step. Indeed, a lawyer representing Trump said Friday that "there is nothing going on on pardons, research -- nothing," something White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders echoed in a briefing later that day. But the idea alone raised a constitutional curiosity that the Founding Fathers had perhaps not anticipated: can President Trump pardon himself?

Can the President Pardon Himself? The Daily Show's Hasan Minhaj Explains, With Dabbing.


Donald Trump is reportedly obsessed with the power of the presidential pardon, and sources have told the New York Times that his legal team discussed using that power to aid Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort. To figure out the answer, Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj offered a quick civics lesson about Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. And not just any civics lesson, but an installment of "Hasan the Record," a recurring segment in which Minhaj simultaneously embodies and parodies YouTube vloggers by explaining obscure topics while trying desperately to be hip. Minhaj asked a constitutional scholar whether Trump can use the "Constitutional Infinity Gauntlet" if he's ever impeached and indicted, and the answer is: It's unclear. "So Trump maybe could pardon himself?" asked Minhaj.

Scottish government move for 'Turing law' gay pardons

BBC News

The Scottish government is to move to pardon men who were convicted of same-sex offences before laws against homosexuality were scrapped. The UK government has announced plans for posthumous pardons for men who were convicted under laws now abolished. There was controversy after an SNP members' bill on the topic was "talked out" at Westminster, with Theresa May's government preferring its own plans. Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said Scottish-specific plans would be made. Changes to legislation at Westminster would not apply automatically in Scotland, with justice a devolved area.

Florida posthumously pardons 4 black men accused of sensational 1949 rape

FOX News

In this undated image released by the State Library and Archives of Florida, Lake County Sheriff Willis McCall, far left, and an unidentified man stand next to Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd and Charles Greenlee, from left, in Florida. The three men along with a fourth were charged with rape in 1949. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and a Cabinet granted posthumous pardons Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, to Shepherd, Irvin, Charles Greenlee and Ernest Thomas, the four African-American men accused of raping a white woman in 1949 in a case now seen as a racial injustice. After a dramatic, hourlong meeting that recalled events from nearly seven decades ago, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state's three-member Cabinet granted posthumous pardons Friday to four African-American men accused of raping a white woman in a 1949 case now seen as a racial injustice. The case of the men known as the Groveland Four has been documented in a book and is considered a blight on Florida's history.