Writes Daniel Cohn:
Lew, I have this rather self-destructive habit of watching CNN, specifically for their “unfair” and thoroughly “biased” converage of Trump. CNN’s treatment of Trump and his presidency borders on the absurd.
Anyway, while I was watching yesterday, several CNN guests opined that it would be “obstruction of justice” if Trump were to pardon Flynn, especially if such a pardon were motivated by corrupt intent.
This doesn’t even pass the “straight face” test that all students in law school are taught. Trump could, if he saw fit, end the entire Mueller probe by just issuing a pardon or a series of pardons. (This doesn’t even address his other option; namely, because we have a unitary executive under the constitution, he could theoretically just issue an order ending the entire probe.)
The president’s pardon power is absolute, unqualified, and unreviewable by the federal courts. Of course, if there are alleged state crimes then the pardon power wouldn’t extend to those.
The hatred of Trump is pathological. Like you and, I’d suspect, most readers of LRC, I dislike much of Trump’s agenda, as it’s an affront to libertarian principles but a healthy perspective and an honest commitment to first principles are key. We remain, as Justin Raimondo noted early in Trump’s primary candidacy, “anti-anti-Trumpians”.
As an aside: I’m no worshipper of the constitution, but as you’ve noted before, it is the regime under which we live. If we are to reference it, cite it, and pay homage to it, then it’s incumbent upon us all to at least be consistent in our treatment, analysis, and use of it.