Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he believes President Donald Trump has the ability to pardon himself. Host Jake Tapper asked Paul if he believes Trump has the power to do so and Paul replied, “I think in all likelihood he does. I think that some of this hasn’t been adjudicated.” Trump himself believes he has the “complete power” to pardon, however, he tweeted out Saturday that he has nothing to pardon himself from.
However, as Paul stressed out during his interview on CNN, “at this point it is irrelevant whether or not President Trump is accused of this so-called crime – whatever his accusers conjure up, it won’t work. Donald Trump is President of the United States, and as such, has the power to pardon any and all persons at his own discretion. It might sound unfair to some, but it’s one of the perks of the job. That’s just how the Constitution works.”
When Tapper persisted in pushing Paul to comment more on the allegations that President Trump cheated during his presidential campaign as well as the election, the senator from Kentucky argued that he “already commented on the issue” and that there was “nothing more left to say.” “It’s just one of those things where it’s become useless to talk about any of it, because it’s in the past. It’s already happened and nothing we do now can change the consequences,” he said.
“Surely you’re not saying that Donald Trump can’t suffer consequences for cheating his way into the presidency?” Tapper insisted. Paul replied, “No, of course not, but you have to look at it like this: we don’t really care if Donald Trump cheated his way into the presidency or not; for that matter, we don’t even care if he’s found guilty or not. The fact to the matter is, like I said – the man possesses the legal power to pardon anyone he chooses in any given situation, and that includes himself. He’d be a fool not to use that option if the circumstances call for it.”
Paul also added, “We can’t allow ourselves to blame Donald Trump of anything we put him in power to do. It doesn’t work like that. There’s a reason our Constitution predicts a four-year term for every head of state. That time is given to every president to do his part for his country and, during that time, he should be left alone to do his work. What kind of a nation would be we if we were to drive out every single president after six months or something just because we weren’t sure of his motives? Like I said, it doesn’t work like that.”
“My point is – we shouldn’t care how Donald Trump won the presidency. It’s kind of like with rich people: you should never ask them how they came by their first million; other than that, you can ask them anything. What’s important now is focusing on the work that lies ahead for this country. As far as its president is concerned, he’s a smart man, he’ll solve any problems we face in the future. And if he’s found guilty – well, he’ll solve that problem too, let’s put it like that,” Paul concluded.