Jed Shugerman was quoted in a Talking Points Memo article about the U.S. president’s ability to pardon.
Legal scholars agree that the U.S. president has “fairly absolute” authority to pardon any other U.S. citizen for any federal crime, Fordham University law professor Jed Shugerman said in a phone interview.
Then there is the problematic exercise of executive clemency to impede an investigation, a “corrupt intent” which Shugerman said could make the President “liable for obstruction of justice charges.”
The most significant workaround for law enforcement is the President’s inability to pardon individuals found guilty of state crimes.
“That’s the lynchpin of all of this,” Shugerman told TPM. “[Mueller’s strategy] seems to be to make sure the indictments he brings and the guilty pleas he obtains preserve for state prosecutors the backup plan against pardons.”