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Limit President's Power to Pardon In Cases Where He Is A Subject and Impeachable Offenses

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It is clear that we are in the midst of a Constitutional crisis of major proportions. The President of the United States has shown that he is willing to circumvent and obstruct justice through the use of his presidential powers. Once the President of the United States becomes a subject of a federal investigation involving crimes against the United States his/her ability to utilize pardon powers as an instrument of organized crime to bribe or threaten witnesses, obstruct justice, must be limited. We run the risk that a president who has fired multiple law enforcement officials, explicitly demanded loyalty over the law, and publicly berated Department of Justice leadership regarding a case in which he is a subject- and now has shown a willingness to use his pardon power without hesitation or deliberation-can obstruct the work of an investigation for which he is a subject and/or be pardoned by a successor to the office. The framers intended impeachment to limit the abuse of pardon power, but strict partisanship means that any president can effectuate a pardon of all co-conspirators, witnesses, and other subjects, while resigning under agreement of pardon with this his successor. The people are left holding the bag of injustice, while a litany of potential criminals are never held accountable. Congress must do everything to prevent this from happening. 

At this time, we need a unified, bipartisan, and veto-proof Congress to state in the clearest possible way, as was done in the case of Russian sanctions, that justice is blind, Americans are not. Please pass legislation NOW that states: 

1) That a President of the United States may not pardon himself (or herself), any subject, witness, or other legal entity in any case where the President is a subject or witness. The President must obtain official certification from the Director of the FBI and the Attorney General that the President is not a subject, defendant, or witness to the crimes against the United States being pardoned. 

2) No President of the United States shall have the power to pardon any previous President or employee of the executive branch for crimes that would have been impeachable offenses during the time they were committed.

These two laws preserve the president's broad power to pardon crimes against the United States and clarify the Framer's intent to exclude cases where the President's use of said power is self-serving. Times have changed and it is clear that regardless of party affiliation or ideology, we are unified in our belief that no one is above the law and that there is nothing less American than for the rule of law to be undermined by the very office we depend on to enforce and execute it. Members of Congress, justice is blind. You are not. 

 



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