Pollak: Trump could pardon himself and walk free if convicted, re-elected

 August 20, 2023

Though Democrats and liberal pundits have been salivating at the thought of putting Donald Trump behind bars for the remainder of his days, Breitbart News senior editor-at-large Joel Pollak suggests that the former president and 2024 Republican frontrunner could easily upend those plans and walk free by issuing his own pardon, as the outlet explains.

Pollak's insights came during a Friday appearance on Michael Savage's podcast, and though he expressed his doubts that Trump could get a fair trial – particularly in the case being heard in Washington, D.C. -- he believes a straightforward workaround exists in the form of self-granted presidential clemency.

During their conversation, Savage asked Pollak about Trump's chances of securing acquittals, particularly in the Georgia election case.

In response to the question of whether Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had a strong likelihood of at least attempting to flip some of the many co-defendants in Trump's case, Pollak answered in the affirmative.

Pollak also opined that despite Trump's mounting legal issues, the cases against him in Manhattan and Miami had significant potential weaknesses that the former president's legal team may be able to exploit.

The federal case being heard in Washington, D.C., in Pollak's estimation, will be tried by a jury certain to be so predisposed to finding against Trump that it is not inconceivable that he will be convicted and potentially even held in jail.

With that said, however, Pollak envisions a scenario in which Trump could prevail in the 2024 presidential contests and almost immediately issue himself a pardon – at least in the federal cases.

He implored Savage to consider the notion that “Trump is in prison, wins the election from prison. The Chief Justice walks to the prison, administers the oath of office in prison, whereupon Trump pardons himself, and walks out the door.”

“I can already see it,” Pollak added.

Despite Pollak's high hopes for a Trump-initiated solution to any possible federal convictions, a resolution in the state context is the subject of much more substantial debate in legal circles, as the Washington Examiner notes.

Georgia's Constitution is unusual among American states in that it does not afford the governor broad powers of pardon, but rather gives the power to an appointed board comprised of five individuals serving terms of seven years.

Pardons in Georgia may only be sought after five years have passed after the service of any sentence imposed, presented obvious problems in the context of a Trump conviction and subsequent re-election.

Conservative commentator, legal scholar, and radio host Mark Levin has a different position on the question of whether Trump could effectuate a pardon on a Georgia conviction if he is reelected president, saying, “The idea that a president cannot pardon himself from state charges is absurd, again, not only because of the Supremacy Clause, but the same considerations that apply to a federal conviction would obviously apply to a state conviction.”

Of course, given that all of the pending criminal cases against Trump – including the one in Georgia – remain in their early stages, the manner in which any of these potential fact patterns might play out is something that is yet to be seen.