WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump’s Russian headaches will not go away.
For over a year, allegations of connections between Russia and his campaign, now his administration, have dogged him. After firing FBI Director James Comey, and telling NBC’s Lester Hold he did so because of the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election he won, Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel. Earlier this week, Trump lashed out at Mueller, warning him not to allow his independent investigation to delve into the Trump business empire. A day later, it was learned that Mueller intends to do just that, and his probe has widened to include Trump’s business dealings, and it was just announced that there’s been yet another shakeup of Trump’s team of lawyers.
In another development sure to bring Trump heartburn, The New York Times released an interview they conducted with the president. The interview comes off as rambling at points and many have speculated that it gives insight into a president whose mindset is that he might just be above the law. A Washington Post report from this week had sources claiming that Trump is looking into the power of presidential pardons for not just his associates and family members, for himself as well.
Legal scholars roundly reject the idea that presidents can pardon themselves. A self-pardoning president would equate to a dictatorship, and that Congress would have to intervene to prevent the president from throwing the country into a full blown Constitutional crisis. While the legality of a president pardoning himself has never been litigated, a new development in this story has the potential to further complicate things.
Today, the White House issued a press release, stating that Trump would be pre-pardoning himself for eventually pardoning himself for things that the press release explicitly states he didn’t do.
“President Trump has issued a preliminary, pre-pardon pardon,” the press release states, “and that pre-pardon will grant him lifetime clemency from any legal repercussions that stem from his decision to issue himself a presidential pardon for anything related to the Russian thingy.”
Trump’s pre-pardon is the first of its kind. It is not, however, an admission of guilt, according to the White House.
“For over a year we have told the American people there was no collusion, no evidence of collusion, and that this was all a witch hunt put on by a sad and flailing mainstream media,” the White House statement says, “and all of that is totally true. Just because Don Jr. released some emails that show direct evidence of conspiracy to collude with a foreign power, that doesn’t mean anyone colluded. It means someone attempted to collude, but we don’t put people on trial for attempting to commit a crime, do we? No, really didn’t do anything wrong, we promise!”
Despite holding fast to denials of any wrongdoing, Trump’s pre-pardon should still cover the president, even if evidence of wrongdoing is found later, the White House argues.
“No one around here did anything wrong, okay,” the White House statement reads, “but even if we did, by pre-pardoning himself, not only is the president insulating himself from any consequences for fully pardoning himself later, this pre-pardon technically covers anything he may or may not do in the future, or has done in the past. Pretty much this is us saying, ‘You can’t do shit to us, libtards.’ But again, for the record, we’re totes innocent guys, you know how the FAKE NEWS is. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Asked for comment, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) said he was “stunned but not stunned enough to do anything cuz tax cuts.”
This is a developing story.