The President of the United States, pursuant to Article II of the Constitution, has the sole power to issue pardons that free individuals of the confines and limitations of federal prosecution and conviction. In his only term as President so far, Donald Trump issued approximately 143 pardons. Several of those pardons were directed to those who attempted to interfere with the 2016 presidential election by way of lying to investigators and members of Congress and by tampering with evidence and witnesses. Many other pardons issued by President Trump were given only to those who had close ties to the Republican Party or the President himself. The purpose of this Article is to showcase several of the individuals pardoned by President Trump in order to argue that he used the pardon power for personal gain and not as originally intended by the Founding Fathers. This Article also argues that constitutional amendments to the presidential pardon power are required in order to protect the American judicial system and our democratic principles from further executive abuse—be it from a potential second term of President Trump or any other future President of the United States.
Zachary J. Broughton, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW—LOYALTY, MONEY, AND BUSINESS: THE NEW PRICE FOR A PRESIDENTIAL PARDON, 44 W. New Eng. L. Rev. 259 (), https://digitalcommons.law.wne.edu/lawreview/vol44/iss2/5