I fear the President may have heard an Avett Brothers tune but taken it wrong.
A guy is telling his girl, who’s trying her best in their relationship, to cut herself some slack; give herself a break.
Tells her, “Please, Pardon Yourself.”
Soon as it broke that Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia includes certain Trump financial dealings, the president started talking about pardons. Presidential Pardons. Like Gerald Ford gave Richard Nixon. Some say Nixon cut a deal with Ford to step down in exchange for a pardon, to end the swirling Watergate madness. For the good of the country, of course.
“All agree the U.S. President has the complete power to pardon,” went the salient part of Trump’s tweet. Many politicians and pundits believe he was suggesting he even had the power to pardon himself.
This is highly debatable. Some legal analysts and at least one sitting senator said they think a president has such power. Many say no. Others say the Supreme Court would have to decide. A House Democrat has introduced a bill that would end the discussion by clearly stating presidents don’t have that power.
The way he jumped into the matter of pardons – his new White House Communications Czar admitted Trump also raised the issue in Oval Office conversation – makes one wonder: Could they have been on Donald Trump’s mind for a while?
Questions about his financial ties to Russia have percolated for years. Though every major party nominee since 1976 (except Ford) has released tax returns, Trump steadfastly refuses. He’s always said it’s because he’s being audited, but his worry since the Russian investigation moved toward his finances is apparent.
It was four months ago that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, but Trump only launched his pounding public campaign to force him to resign a few days ago. It’s not a leap to wonder if Trump knows investigators digging into his finances may be nearer to proving something for which he could use one of those pardons – even if he has to do it himself.
But maybe he won’t have to do it himself.
There are a lot of things being written that suggest the days ahead could become very interesting for Vice President Mike Pence. He’s laying low on Trump and Russia, especially as the president tweets himself up a storm. Pence also hired a new chief of staff, Nick Ayers, who successfully ran the Republican Governor’s Association and is one of the GOP’s most highly lauded operatives.
Does the time come when Trump – who, it is ever more obvious despite the best efforts of The Fox News Channel, elevated expectations for his presidency far beyond what he is capable of delivering – bails himself out of impending doom by stepping down? And Mike Pence becomes President, and grants “a full, free, and absolute pardon” unto Donald Trump to end the swirling Trump-Russia madness? For the good of the country, of course.
I don’t know if the president has heard the Avett Brothers. If he hasn’t and would like to, I might recommend this, from their “Emotionalism” album:
“The Weight of Lies will bring you down. And follow you to every town.
Lies don’t need an aeroplane to chase you down.”
Observer contributor Keith Larson can be heard on “The Larson Page” weekdays at Noon on ESPN Radio Charlotte (730 AM) and TheLarsonPage.com.