How might Trump use the pardon?
There is speculation he may blunt special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation by pre-emptively pardoning everyone in his inner circle. Constitutional scholars disagree about whether Trump has the power to pardon himself. But Jeffrey Crouch, author of The Presidential Pardon Power, says a Trump self-pardon could very well backfire. A 1915 Supreme Court decision deemed accepting a pardon an admission of guilt. “The standard for impeachment—‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors’— is not criminal, it’s political,” Crouch says. “So an acknowledgment of guilt made via a self-pardon could actually become a starting point for impeachment.”