Common Ground: Presidents pardoning themselves

07/09/2018 05:32 PM

Democrats and Republicans don’t agree on very much anymore—especially when it comes to the presidency.

But a new poll from the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that the two sides overwhelmingly agree on one thing—that a president should not pardon themselves and if they do—a majority thinks Congress should impeach the president.

This poll came as the FBI continues their investigation into Russia’s interaction in the 2016 presidential election and President Trump’s campaign. Four of Trump’s campaign associates have been charged as a result of the investigation. And Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants to question the President about the actions of his campaign directly.

While this survey did not name president Trump directly—many American’s have been thinking about the possibility of a president pardoning himself—in part due to President Trump saying he would pardon himself if charged with any crimes. On June 4th, he tweeted out quote “As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!”

But—85 percent of Americans are against this idea. When broken into political parties, 95 percent of Democrats thought this was unacceptable, 83 percent of Independents and 75 percent of Republicans viewed this as unacceptable. While 76 percent of Americans believed if a president pardoned themselves, they should be impeached by Congress. Broken into party lines, 93 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of Independents, but just 56 percent of Republicans thought impeachment was necessary.

Back in June Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters the president should not pardon himself.

“He obviously knows that is not something he should or would do.” McConnell said in June 5th press conference.

The potential of President Trump pardoning himself has taken another turn with his nomination of a new supreme court justice. Democrats say they are interested to see if his nominee believes the president can pardon himself…a question that will undoubtedly come up during the confirmation hearings.

Watch the segment:

Michon Lindstrom

Michon is a producer for Pure Politics. Michon comes to Kentucky from Springfield, Illinois where she served as the statehouse reporter for the NBC affiliate. During her time in the Land of Lincoln she covered the state’s two year budget impasse and the largest school funding overall in Illinois history. Pure Politics airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Michon on Twitter at @MichonLindstrom or reach her by email at


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