‘The President himself may be guilty’: Why pardons were hotly debated by the Founding FathersBreaking News
tags: Founding Fathers, presidential history, pardons, impeachment, Mueller report
Just before they left Philadelphia, the Constitution’s framers tackled a question that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report has revived, 232 years later: Could the president abuse his pardon power to obstruct justice?
On September 15, 1787 — with the Constitution drafted, the summer’s heat cooling and the convention delegates at the Pennsylvania State House eager to go home — Virginia Gov. Edmund Randolph stood to voice a last-minute concern. The president, Randolph said, shouldn’t be able to pardon treason.
“The President may himself be guilty,” Randolph argued. “The Traytors may be his own instruments.”
Mueller’s report, which mentions presidential pardons 64 times, closely scrutinizes President Trump’s comments about the possibility of pardoning former aides Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn.
“Evidence concerning the President’s conduct towards Manafort indicates that the President intended to encourage Manafort to not cooperate with the government,” the report states. “The evidence supports the inference that the President intended Manafort to believe that he could receive a pardon,” Mueller adds, “which would make cooperation with the government as a means of obtaining a lesser sentence unnecessary.”
The Constitution doesn’t allow the president to abuse his pardon power, Mueller’s report says. “Congress has the authority to prohibit the corrupt use of anything of value to influence the testimony of another person,” Mueller wrote, “which would include the offer or promise of a pardon to induce a person to testify falsely or not to testify at all.”
comments powered by Disqus
- 131-Year-Old Confederate Statue Removed From Alexandria Intersection
- All the History I Learned in my Youth Came from the American Girl Doll Books
- Is This the Worst Year in Modern American History?
- Role-Playing Games are Breathing New Life into the History Classroom
- Dallas Awarded $50,000 to Preserve Civil Rights History
- What Is Antifa, the Movement Trump Wants to Declare a Terror Group?
- Confronting the History of a Southern Asylum: An Interview With Mab Segrest
- Nazi or Hero? Historian Looks at the Stories a German Consultant Told of His Father
- History, Right Now: Echoes of 1968, and Other American Years
- Don't Assume There'll be a 'Post-COVID-19 Era' - Historian Niall Ferguson Tells World vs Virus