Democratic bill would prevent Donald Trump from pardoning himself

Rep. Al Green plans to introduce legislation to block possible self-pardoning by President Trump

Published July 25, 2017 4:43PM (EDT)

 (Getty/Shawn Thew)
(Getty/Shawn Thew)

Concerned with a president's ability to issue a self-pardon, Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, recently announced that he plans to introduce legislation that would prevent any sitting president from doing so.

"To allow such would not only place the President above the law, it would make the President his own final judge, jury, and prosecutor," Green said during a press conference on Monday, according to The Hill. "The President would, in fact, become the law," Green said, adding that he's introducing the legislation due to "love for my country."

Standing between paintings of Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela hanging in his office, Green said the introduction of this bill is not just beholden to President Donald Trump, who has reportedly looked into the scope of his pardon powers. "No president should have the power to pardon himself or herself, this legislation that I wIll file will make it clear. It will take some time for this to be effective, but this is not about the president in office," Green said in his press conference. "This is about all presidents."

"We don't want any president to think that he can pardon himself," he said. "I think that today we're sending a message to our president: you should not pursue pardoning yourself. If you're thinking about it, don't think about it."

"I do believe that it should apply to this president, and I do believe that there are constitutional scholars who would contend that this president can not pardon himself," Green said. "But I think that we have to make the law clear so that in the future there will be no question as to whether or not a president can pardon himself."

Green added that he believes it will be "in the best interest of Democracy" as well as the country.

Green said that affording a president the ability to pardon themselves would mean they are "above the law," which would make the U.S. "a country of laws for all but the president," The Hill reported.

Green did not say when he plans to file this legislation.


Jay Sekulow, a member of Trump's legal team repeatedly insisted on Sunday that pardons were not an option that was on the table.

By Charlie May

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