PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Reports from the White House say that the Trump Administration is looking into whether the president can use his pardon power to get around the investigation into Russia’s involvement in last year’s election.
A presidential pardon releases a person of any punishment resulting from a federal crime. As Special Counsel Robert Mueller probes into Russia, could President Trump pardon his team, his children or himself?
“Generally speaking we don’t think people should be judges in their own case,” said Penn Law Professor Kermit Roosevelt.
He says President Donald Trump could pardon his family, team and others, but he’d pay heavily politically.
“Because it looks sort of corrupt, the president is advancing his own interest by pardoning these people,” he said.
As for pardoning himself, most scholars say no, and even if he did, Congress could still oust him.
“The president can’t keep himself in office, if Congress wanted to impeach him,” he said.
Roosevelt says, if the president tried to pardon power to tamper with the Russia investigation it could be viewed as an obstruction of justice.
“It wouldn’t make the pardon invalid probably, but it would expose the president maybe to criminal liability,” he said.
He believes that even if the president issues pardon in the Russia investigation the probe would continue.