Trump Mulling Self-Pardon, Odds Shorten on What Would Be a Presidential First

Posted on: January 7, 2021, 03:42h. 

Last updated on: January 8, 2021, 11:05h.

President Donald Trump is reportedly considering pardoning himself, a move that would be a first in the history of the United States.

Trump pardon odds Biden inauguration
President Donald Trump has faced blame for the Capitol riots on January 6. Now, the President is said to be considering pardoning himself from future legal challenges. (Image: The New York Times)

The New York Times says the President has suggested to aides that he wants to pardon himself in the final days of his presidency. Though Trump has repeatedly grouped the newspaper into his “fake news” category, political bettors are acting on the reports.

“Will Trump pardon himself in his first term?” on PredictIt has “Yes” shares up substantially to nearly 60 cents. Yesterday, those same shares were trading as low as 35 cents.

Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the US Constitution sets various clemency powers to the president, including pardons for federal crimes. The full extent of the pardon power has not been fully determined in courts, and legal scholars have long debated whether a sitting president can actually pardon him or herself.

Trump, however, has already issued a verdict. He believes the president can indeed issue a self-pardon.

Impeachment Calls Return

Trump’s tenure has been one of the more combative administrations against his political opponents in recent memory.

House Democrats brought articles of impeachment in December of 2019 on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Trump was acquitted in March by the US Senate, which has a Republican majority.

Following yesterday’s attack on the US Capitol — and many Democrats and Republicans at least partially blaming the President for igniting the violence — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) called for the President’s immediate removal.

The Democratic leaders said the Cabinet should invoke the 25th Amendment to oust Trump from office. For that to happen, VP Mike Pence, and a simple majority of Trump’s current Cabinet, would need to inform the president pro tempore of the Senate (Sen. Chuck Grassley R-Iowa) and Pelosi that they have voted that the president is unfit to fulfill the duties of the office.

The quickest and most effective way — it can be done today — to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment,” Schumer explained in a statement. “If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”

The odds of that happening are long. Bettors give Trump a 78 percent of completing his first term, which will terminate on January 20 when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

Political bettors, however, say there’s a strong chance Trump will be impeached for a second time. PredictIt “Yes” shares of the president being impeached again are at 72 cents.

Civil Transition?

Trump said earlier today that there will be an “orderly transition” on January 20. The president has yet to say whether he will be on the Capitol steps when Biden takes the oath.

UK oddsmakers feel there’s little chance. The line on Trump being at the inauguration are at 11/5 — implied odds of 31.25 percent.