In the wake of accounts that independent counsel Robert Mueller has turned his investigation to the first family, President Trump tweeted last weekend that he has the "complete power to pardon." His aides and lawyers suggested that the president might pardon not only his son Donald J. Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, but himself too.

Criticism rained down from legal scholars and commentators. Noted liberal Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe argued that "the Constitution embodies [a] broad precept against self-dealing." Many critics rely on a brief, three-paragraph analysis by Richard Nixon's Justice Department. On Aug. 5, 1974, it concluded the president could not pardon himself because of "the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case."

Saikrishna Prakash, For Trump, Self-Pardon Would Equal Self-Immolation, Philadelphia Inquirer (June 27, 2017).
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