Analysis

Despite Trump's Claim, Legal Scholars Split Over Self-Pardon

By Brandon Lowrey (June 4, 2018, 11:13 PM EDT) -- President Donald Trump's declaration Monday that legal scholars endorse his "absolute authority" to pardon himself touches on a divisive constitutional law question that has rarely in American history been posed, and never answered, and that could force the three branches of government into a long-avoided reckoning.

Days before President Richard Nixon resigned, a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice issued a memo at the president's behest exploring the question, which is not directly addressed by the U.S. Constitution. That attorney, Mary C. Lawton, offered only one line of reasoning on that point, with no citations: "Under the fundamental rule that...

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