With Donald Trump's power slipping away from him, the president has reportedly suggested to his aides that he wants to pardon himself before leaving office.
The New York Times reports that two people close to discussions have claimed that Trump has openly admitted to his advisers that he has considered giving himself a pardon. He has also spoken with other people in his administration regarding what ramifications he might face if he does self-pardon, a move that hasn't happened in the history of the United States. The talks allegedly happened before a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol, and it's unclear if he has spoken about it since.
It has been suggested that Trump could create a dangerous precedent if he were to go ahead and pardon himself, allowing future presidents to act above the law. Trump has not only reportedly considered pardoning himself, but he has also suggested pardons for Donald Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner. Despite this, sources say Trump has expressed concern over the Biden administration's potential to investigate him and is family after he takes office.
Trump has repeatedly told his advisers that he likes that he has the power to issue clemency, and has continued to ask aides whom he could and should pardon in the last days of his presidency. His attempts to overturn the election in his favor, and his involvement in inciting the violent failed insurrection, which was also fueled by conspiracists and far-right extremists known for their fervent support of Trump.
Those close to the president have warned him that he could be facing legal trouble for inciting the events of Jan. 6, especially as he had continued to spew unfounded claims of election fraud. Prior to the events that took place on Wednesday, Trump had urged supporters of his taking the Capitol to "fight" the election results. White House aides claim that Trump refused to take advice to condemn the acts of his supporters, and he took joy in watching them violently destroy federal property.
Back in November, it was reported that Trump has been asking about pardoning himself and his family since 2017. He has publicly theorized about pardoning himself as far back as 2018, claiming that he has "the absolute right" to do so.