Trump Does His Part in Scandalizing the Presidential Pardon Power

President Trump speaks in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C., April 24, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
The president’s final act was yet another iteration of the two-tiered justice system that serves the wealthy and powerful.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE G ive President Trump this much: On the “Yuck! scale,” his eleventh-hour pardons do not approach the despicable depths of those issued by Bill Clinton 20 years ago today. But they do reify, as this White House–exit ritual customarily does, that the pardon power has devolved from an obsolescence to an embarrassment in our constitutional system.

To repeat what I contended in the current issue of National Review, the Constitution should be amended to repeal it.

Rumors ran rampant that Trump’s final pardon list would be historically seamy — possibly including himself and his close family members. The president’s advisers evidently managed to

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