PRESIDENT Donald Trump should pardon himself and his entire family before leaving the White House in January to protect themselves from criminal accusations, according to Sean Hannity.
The Fox News host suggested on Monday that Trump issue the pardons to avoid a "witch hunt" by Democrats.
Hannity complained to pro-Trump lawyer – and conspiracy theorist – Sidney Powell that President-elect Joe Biden was being publicly urged to investigate and prosecute Trump for any criminal misconduct while he was commander in chief.
"The president out the door needs to pardon his whole family and himself, because [the Democrats] want this witch hunt to go on in perpetuity. They're so full of rage and insanity against the president," he said.
He continued: "I assume that the power of the pardon is absolute, and that he should be able to pardon anybody that he wants to."
Hannity was responding to a New York Times op-ed written last week by Andrew Weissman, deputy to former special counsel Robert Mueller, who suggested the next US attorney general investigate Trump once he's out of office.
He kicked off his chat with Powell by bashing Mueller's probe into Russian election interference and asked about the president's recent pardon of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Hannity asked Powell for her thoughts on Trump pardoning Flynn, who's also her client, which she called "bittersweet."
"Not everybody can get a presidential pardon," Powell noted.
But she quickly added that it "should not be necessary" for Trump to pardon himself and his family, asserting that the president won't because he's "going to get another four years in office to finish the job he started."
Can Donald Trump pardon himself?
Some have speculated that Trump could make the move after he pardoned Michael Flynn
- No president has ever tried to pardon themselves, and its unclear if Trump has the legal authority to do so
- Legal experts say that a self-pardon would be unconstitutional because it violates the basic principle that nobody should be the judge in his or her own case
- There has been speculation that he could try to pardon himself preemptively to cover the possibility of prosecution after he leaves office
- Trump tweeted in 2018 that he has the 'absolute right' to pardon himself, according to 'legal scholars'
- He has pardoned dozens of people while president, including controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Alice Johnson
Before his pardon, Flynn twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak in late 2016.
The move has prompted speculation that Trump might pardon himself and a growing list of people that reportedly include "Tiger King" Joe Exotic and former Trump advisersRick Gates and Steve Bannon.
Bannon in August was indicted on charges of defrauding donors who helped fund Trump's goal to build a border wall with Mexico – charges he later pleaded not guilty to.
Exotic pleaded the president to pardon him in a handwritten letter he wrote from his Texas jail cell, where he's currently serving a 22-year sentence for a plot to kill Carole Baskin.
Trump vowed to "take a look at" a pardon for the so-called Tiger King in April.
Although Trump has the power to pardon others, it's unclear whether he's legally allowed to issue one for himself.
No president has ever tried it, and there is no concrete answer.
Legal experts say that a self-pardon would be unconstitutional because it violates the basic principle that nobody should be the judge in his or her own case.
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