June 5, 2018

One small part of a confidential letter written early this year to special counsel Robert Mueller by the Trump legal team (before Giuliani came aboard) and leaked to the New York Times had the anti-Trump media in a dither all day Monday. Never mind that it concerned something entirely hypothetical: whether or not the President can be charged with obstruction of justice and if he has the constitutional authority to pardon himself.

Legal analysts were all over TV to discuss whether or not these things could happen. The way the talking heads were carrying on, hour after hour, about the President thinking he’s “above the law,” you’d have thought Trump actually HAD pardoned himself. And that’s exactly the impression they wanted to give, even though in reality he is not doing it and has no need whatsoever to do it. Why wait for an actual constitutional crisis that almost certainly will never happen when you can go right ahead and act one out?

Trump, bless him, assisted them in their effort to make him look guilty of something by tweeting that “numerous legal scholars” say “I have the absolute right to PARDON myself.” It’s not the first time he’s pointed this out, either; he tweeted something similar last July. I’m thinking the best way Rudy Giuliani can help him as his attorney is to just take his phone away and throw it into the Potomac.

Speaking of Rudy, he had to go on the air and deal with the veeeeery serious legal questions posed by George Stephanopoulos but found the whole topic amusing. Unless a President has been so obviously railroaded that the electorate sympathizes, the idea of him pardoning himself is so politically explosive that he essentially can’t do it, whether or not the Constitution technically allows him to. That’s because the Constitution also includes a little provision called “impeachment” to keep a President from flouting the law.

To my mind, this was all an exercise in distraction from the growing pile of evidence suggestive of politically-motivated misconduct on the part of the DOJ and FBI. I wanted to make sure I was on the right track about this, so I looked to see if go-to legal mind Andrew C. McCarthy had written a column about it yet, and sure enough, he had.

McCarthy does say that, yes, the President can pardon himself, but that if Congress believes he has abused the pardon in doing so, they can impeach him, and the President does not have the authority to block his own impeachment. But even if the Senate convicts him and removes him from office, the ex-President cannot be prosecuted for whatever he pardoned himself for. Got that?

He also points out that a pardon can be granted before there is any criminal charge, as when President Ford pardoned Nixon. President Carter issued a mass pardon of draft evaders, though they hadn’t yet been charged, and Lincoln similarly pardoned Confederate soldiers and sympathizers. So, technically, Trump could go ahead and issue pardons to anyone Mueller is looking at, including himself. It doesn’t apply to future actions, of course, just to those that have already happened or have been alleged.

McCarthy guesses that Trump’s side is talking about this to show how cooperative he’s being with the investigation, the implication being, “No, I’m not going to sit down for a wide-ranging interview, but, look, I deserve some credit for the support I’ve given to this. I can’t be indicted, I have the power to fire Mueller or anybody else I want, and I could pardon anyone I want –- even myself –- but see how I’m refraining from using my sweeping power?”

But this approach is not one McCarthy would take. There is still no obstruction case against the President, he says, so why get into this? As for whether or not Mueller could compel Trump to testify, he says that as long as Trump has not been implicated in a crime (and it appears he hasn’t) and doesn’t possess evidence that he alone can provide to prove the prosecutor’s case, then there’s no reason for him to testify and it’s just a hypothetical.

Hypothetical or not, the anti-Trump media types have been foaming at the mouth just thinking about this stuff. By the way, did you know that when Hillary was the presumed winner back in 2016, a few were speculating that she might pardon herself once in office and wipe the slate clean of her many transgressions? I don’t remember the media going apoplectic at the prospect of that.


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Comments 1-30 of 30

  • Pamala L. Monis

    06/09/2018 09:45 AM

    Totally agree! Thank you so much for being here and doing what you do do well Mike. ????

  • Elaine Liming

    06/05/2018 06:45 PM

    I think a laugh is in order. This is a living soap opera anyway. Here is my laugh for the day. I voted in the California primary today---I have studied the propositions---that was easy. Then I studies all the candidates---I knew we had more political parties than the Democrats and Republicans but was amazed by the long list---some Candidates made one statement about themselves and one an autobiographical account. I was amazed! When I checked in I was told after I got my access number, the next person would verify that I lived at the address given. I stated my address and then he asked for my favorite color. I told him right away--Red, White and Blue.!!!! oh you can vote! I told my son when we got in the car what I did---he called me a wise_______. Laughter is good for the soul.


    06/05/2018 04:18 PM

    Hello Governor,
    I am really tired of the Mueller thing, it just has to go away. There is no collusion with Trump and the Russians, just Hillary & the Russians.
    No crime has been committed by the President or his administration either, so no chance of impeachment there. I wonder how many others feel like me and want it to end. Trump should tell Mueller to STOP! Then Mueller, Comey, Hillary, Loretta, Holder, Brennan, and Clapper can all go up the river in new orange jumpsuits.............OH, don't forget Obama, he knew all about the DOJ/FBI Strozk & Page fiasco as he was "in charge"!
    Thank you again for a great show over the weekend..........I like watching you on Sundays.
    Carmen Price

  • Tommie Helm

    06/05/2018 02:47 PM

    Thank you so much for being such a GREAT VOICE OF WISDOM by the Grace of GOD to our country. Thanks also for reminding us of the Double-Standard Liberal Media speaking of Hillary being able to pardon herself if elected. COOL! Thanks again for coming to our city, Jacksonville, TX one week ago and being such a BLESSING to our leaders at the Landmark luncheon. I, like you, missed the large round medallion that could have been on the lectern stand. I also enjoyed your show on TBN Saturday night and loved the Old Rocker's vocal on "Good Lovin' ". May "Great Grace" be upon you Brother Mike as you minister & advocate for YISRAEL. BLESSings, ........... brother tomHE


    06/05/2018 02:17 PM

    The alphabet media is a sham. They can't say one thing nice about President Trump. That's the point. He is our president and the position that demands respect no matter what!For 500 days he has protected us, jobs and industry are back. Unemployment is the lowest in 40 years . He has the job of cleaning up after the abuse of Obama. That's right Obama was turning our beautiful country into a third world country . He abused his powers and was the laugh of the World. Did the conservatives dis him on every little thing and things that never happen? NO!Obama did a lot of sneaky things that one can believe as treason.I don't know why Obama Hillary and Bill Clinton, Comey, Loretta Lynch to name a few...Why they are not in prison. Alphabet news we are tired of your juvenile tactics .We don't want to hear what you say.It't all twisted and not the truth.The alphabet news support the swamp people! You see in this country I can say this. It's called freedom of speech.

  • Jerry Baysinger

    06/05/2018 02:05 PM

    Perhaps President Trump should go on the offensive and open an investigation of everyone who is investigating him, using the same standard against them that they are using against him. "They MIGHT committed a crime, or thought about committing one, so they need to be fully investigated and removed from office." Never mind that our justice system assumes innocence until PROVEN guilty.....
    The Lord Jesus said that he that is without sin should cast the first stone. There is NONE in Congress that if investigated long enough, would come out unscathed, no, not one. The threat of they themselves being put under investigation ought to temper their actions. What goes around eventually comes around.


    06/05/2018 01:55 PM

    Think Trump is a master of mis-direction. He is playing the lamestream media like a fine fiddle to show just how biased they are! He has been doing it since he was elected and they are so dumb that they don't even realize it. If you can find a copy of the book "Games People Play" read it and you will probably agree that Trump is a games master!

  • Anita Mae Barker

    06/05/2018 01:51 PM

    Bless you. A great commentary.

  • Steven Gibbs

    06/05/2018 01:15 PM

    I have come to the opinion that this President loves to stir the fecal matter, his enemies spin themselves into sounding like loons, While he ends up sidestepping or avoiding the issue. Look at his dealing sith the NORKS- Deal on, deal off, deal back on. all to him is a negotiation. HE makes a firm statmenent that he is going to stand by, then he isn't. then he is again. Maybe its madness, maybe it is genius. I really don't know

  • Catherine Johnstone-Brown

    06/05/2018 12:56 PM

    Wish we could throw his tweets into the river. Our President appears to say just enough to rile up the news media. If you have any clout at all, can you throw your "weight" around a bit?
    Would like to see more info concerning talk of a "Centrist" movement involving Independents and the Libertarians in Congress designed to interrupt a majority vote.
    Thank you all you do for our Nation. God bless you.

  • Vickie Fiorentino

    06/05/2018 12:09 PM

    Hmmm, didn't we IMPEACH CLINTON and he stayed in office anyway? This ALL needs to go away and let's get about running the country. I am so SICK & TIRED of this crap.

  • Iva Whitman, Non- Degreed

    06/05/2018 11:59 AM

    Thought out and hard to misunderstand unlike the previous years in captivating factual misconstruance informationally!!!

  • Alice Claar

    06/05/2018 11:51 AM

    What would we ALL do without you?????? Thank God you are there for us.

  • Sega

    06/05/2018 11:39 AM

    Who is left that President Trump can trust to retrieve the Seth Rich laptop held by DC police and the Imran Awan laptop held by Capital police? It would have to be someone trustworthy considering how many servers, hard drives and other devices have been destroyed over the past few years. I believe everything that needs to go public is on those laptops, yet no one is doing anything with them. Why hasn't Trey Gowdy had those turned over? Why hasn't Sessions .. well Sessions is worthless. Someone needs to examine those 2 laptops while they still exist!!

  • Gerald Murphy

    06/05/2018 11:32 AM

    I sincerely hope that when POTUS is facing off with Kim Jung Un, he gets back from him the USS PUEBLO, and as many as possible of our Korean War veterans that fell or were incarcerated in the north! Would you please get this to him, either directly or through his aides? Thank you! ~Gerald Murphy, SCPO USN (Ret)

  • Patricia Hullihen

    06/05/2018 11:26 AM

    Your comments are always so insiteful. As far as the "pardon" issue is concerned, if it weren't so Sad it would be amusing to watch the reaction of the MSM. On a side note, one of the things that warms my heart when reading your comments is your proper use of grammar and the English Language. Thank you for taking the time to give us the "right" view of the days events. God Bless You in all of your endeavors. I am a fellow Believer in Jesus Christ.

  • Bill Codner Sr

    06/05/2018 11:14 AM

    If I were The Donald, I would tell the NY Times that even though I could pardon Hitlary and Bill Clinton for fraud, obstruction of justice, and McCabe, Strzok, Page, Brennan, Clapper, Obama for numerous expected charges, I would withold any and all pardons for them in the name of "Justice".

  • Martha Stanton

    06/05/2018 10:57 AM

    I agree with what you have said about President Trump and the problems he is having with the media.
    Martha Stanton

  • Steve McDonnough

    06/05/2018 10:56 AM

    Mr. Huckabee,
    I find it amusing that President Trump is doing the very thing he did during the campaign. He is using them for free publicity, and that helped get him elected. They (the media) would help their own cause more if they would keep quiet, but they won't, which proves two things. 1: they are idiots, and 2: President Trump is a heck of a lot smarter than they are.

  • John W Bletsch

    06/05/2018 10:54 AM

    I do believe all the talk about self pardoning is intentional distraction by Trump. I believe he enjoys pushing buttons & raising blood pressure of those on the communist left.
    Only he knows why, but he is proving to be a master gamer, playing the left #resistance like a Stradivarius .
    Sit back & enjoy the show, it's about to get real.

  • James Suehr

    06/05/2018 10:54 AM

    Mr Huckabee ,First of all Thank You for cutting me in with your emails . I do think The President says and tweets some of these things to keep the news people busy while he gets other things in . The Federal Judge ( sorry i forgot his name) that said Mueller and his team were liars and he was going to shut them down in 30 days (which should be coming up ) made it quite clear that what Mueller was reaching for ,if President Trump is guilt isnt enough to de throne him anyways ,they are misdemeanors at this point . So that is why the Judge may shut them down . I think the President is innocent and the Hillary gang was behind this . Sad this this family The clintons can continue their crookedness of theirs and still walk the streets and here President Trump is and all he is doing is saying lets get on the right track before we slide in the Obiss . My wife says and I believe there is alot of spiritual war going on trying to trip the President up .We need to pray pray pray to bind those forces in free him of that and Pray the Lord camands all things good into this Presidency that makes it successful in Jesus name. By the way that Daughter of yours is Fantastic what a joy to watch her sir and I can see the Daddy in her .As a brother we pray ,as a news person contiue to promote the truth only and continue to condemn the lying fake news as you have as republicans and Americans watch the President's back ,front and both sides of him and support him where we can . Thank You sir God Bless you its an Honor to be on your email list .

  • Arlene Hoffman

    06/05/2018 10:38 AM

    I really appreciate this every day - a voice of reason in the insanity bombarding us constantly! Kudos to Sarah, too, for keeping those snakes in line with class! As the saying goes, "When people show you who they are, believe them!" And they show themselves to the nation every time they're near a mike.

  • Ingrid A Forsberg

    06/05/2018 10:21 AM

    Just wait till the CA voting results come in. If the media got upset over the idea of Trump pardoning himself, they're going to go crazy at how red CA becomes. Its 6/5/18, 7:22 AM right now in CA. & I need to get dressed & go vote RED.

  • Jerry Korba

    06/05/2018 10:18 AM

    Mike It is amazing how the media bites on any scraps the POTUS lets; out years and years ago as a sports official I had tried to explain rules to coaches and some fans who were not familiar with the rules some would listen and try to learn others are like this media looking to alter the rules to favor their agenda I still am stunned by the media and people that find bliss by staying ignorant. I still take time to educate people about rules although we are instructed not to talk to fans while we officiate, the League knows that a lot of them like the media want to incite and disrupt the games, like our lives today I believe the Left are careless about being good sports and good citizens. I laugh when Donald baits them!!!!!!!

  • rodney burke

    06/05/2018 10:12 AM

    Dems are political idiots. They prove that when they talk every day. To see how stupid they are, just watch Fox when they bring on a "democratic Strategist" When they open their mouth, they demonstrate how utterly out of touch with reality they are. Mental illness on the left is at epidemic proportion. And as Sean points out all too many have NOT read and digested the constitution Article one. It appears we need re-educations facilities with teachers like Thomas Sowell, Dennis Prager, Newt, Mark Levin and like ilk. Sadly the constitutional ignorance is intentional on the left, because they are admitted communists and apparently advocate the overthrow of established government for what? A socialist state? we DO have a constitutional crisis. A segment of our population who want to destroy the republic and make us like the EU. A dismal failure.

  • Mike Phillips

    06/05/2018 10:07 AM

    It's not ONLY the left falling for the click-bait of this "pardon myself" comment. Former GOP President Michael Steele called our President "Dangerous" at the idea of pardoning himself. I'm starting to see all of the hoopla is not just partisanship politics but SWAMP politics, of which President Trump needs to continue to drain. Good blog on this subject. I appreciated the info.

  • Joseph Haddakin

    06/05/2018 10:00 AM

    Sure hope the liberal, far left MSM read your Newsletters!

  • Rada Morgan

    06/05/2018 09:47 AM

    Please, please somebody take President Trump's phone away from him. At the very least, monitor his messages BEFORE he sends them. I love it that he's getting unbiased communication out to us, but it seems he doesn't understand how inflammatory some of his tweets are to the "almighty" press. Or, maybe he does and it's a good way of tweaking them. And, national news is all some people hear. I love what he's doing (and undoing) but sometimes it's hard to defend some of the things he says. Maybe Sarah could gag him...nah!

  • Debbie From GA

    06/05/2018 09:39 AM

    Lord love him. Yes, they should throw away his phone and disable Twitter.

  • Stephen Russell

    06/05/2018 09:37 AM

    shows dble std when Trump pardons self, Hillary planned to, & see Leftist Media Machine get unglued.
    Everything they do Trump does & does better & they lose it.
    Give UP Media.
    Surrender, give us the news.
    Your Never Trump rants deter us subscribing.