WASHINGTON—Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., who spent the last 18 months trying to force Donald Trump to release his tax returns, now wants to go after the president’s power to pardon.
Pascrell, D-9th Dist., and fellow Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California, have introduced a resolution requesting the White House and Justice Department to provide information about discussions on possible presidential pardons of Trump, his family and his former aides and advisers.
“In a nation built on the rule of law, the executive pardon is one of the most sacred authorities a president holds,” Pascrell and Lieu said. “It was created by the framers to be wielded with the greatest care to extend clemency to those deserving of mercy. It was not meant to be a weapon for the president to use to undermine justice.”
The resolution seeks documents, recordings, memos, records, and any other communications concerning Trump’s power to pardon and who he might be talking about pardoning.
Like the efforts to obtain Trump’s tax returns, the resolution must either be debated by the appropriate House committee within a certain period of time or else can be brought to the House floor.
The tax resolutions were quashed on party line votes by the House Ways and Means Committee and this measure likely will be handled the same way by the House Judiciary Committee.
Pascrell offered the resolution amid discussion over whether Trump will pardon figures such as former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, lawyer Michael Cohen and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who all are key figures in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the president’s campaign colluded with Russia.
“The pardons are a very positive thing for a president,” Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for an economic summit in Canada. “I think you see the way I’m using them. And yes, I do have an absolute right to pardon myself. But I’ll never have to do it because I didn’t do anything wrong. And everybody knows it.”
U.S. intelligence agencies have said that Russia intervened in the 2016 campaign to elect Trump.
Posted June 10 2018 at 3:50 PM Permanent Link