The Presidency

Can the president pardon himself?

Watch PrezFest 2019

Prezfest logo - overlaid on a collage of photos of past presidents

The Presidential Ideas Festival was held May 21-23, 2019.

About this video

January 15, 2021

John Harrison, Brian Kalt, Bernadette Meyler, Micah Schwartzman

As President Trump prepares to leave office, can he give himself a presidential pardon? What are the legal arguments for and against self-pardoning? What does the original meaning of the Constitution say about this issue, and is there precedent for it? This expert panel will focus on the constitutional basis of the pardon power, its history and limits, the relationship between pardoning and impeachment, and the legal and political implications of an attempt by the president to self-pardon.