Should the president be allowed to pardon himself? | The Tylt
Should the president be allowed to pardon himself?
Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution says that the president "shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment."
Pardon power doesn't extend to state crimes, only "offenses against the United States," and it can't stop or undo a congressional impeachment. But beyond that, the power to pardon is pretty broad, and many legal experts say while it might be politically suicidal for the president to pardon himself, it's perfectly legal.
Others say we answered this question during Watergate. Shortly before President Nixon resigned from office, the Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion in which they cautioned that no one may be a judge in his own case. (This is also a principle of so-called "natural law.") This meant, according to the OLC, the president cannot pardon himself.