Former President Donald Trump recently addressed the possibility of issuing himself a pardon if elected to the White House in 2024. While he stated that it is ‘very unlikely,’ he refused to completely rule it out, citing his belief that he did nothing wrong.
In an interview with Kristen Welker on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ Trump expressed his confusion over facing potential legal consequences for challenging the election results.
Trump, who is currently the front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, revealed that he had been offered the option to pardon himself before leaving office in 2021 but decided against it. He acknowledged that some of his advisors had suggested he could go ahead with the self-pardon, but he believed it would appear terrible to the public.
Currently facing a total of 91 charges across four criminal cases, Trump potentially faces over 700 years in prison if convicted. These charges include federal charges related to handling classified documents and alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
Additionally, he has been indicted on state charges in New York and Georgia, relating to hush-money payments made to Stormy Daniels and his alleged involvement in a conspiracy to interfere in the state’s 2020 election, respectively.
It is important to note that presidential pardoning powers only apply to federal cases and do not extend to state and local convictions. Therefore, it seems unlikely that Trump would have the authority to overturn possible convictions in his upcoming criminal indictments in Manhattan and Fulton County, Georgia.
During the interview, Trump expressed frustration at the legal challenges he currently faces and suggested that a pardon could have saved him from these ‘fake charges’ and ‘Biden indictments.’ While he did not categorically state that he would grant himself a pardon if re-elected, he also did not rule it out entirely.
As the former president’s full interview with the network is set to air on Sunday, the discussion surrounding potential self-pardoning is likely to continue. It remains to be seen how this will impact Trump’s political future and whether it will sway voters in the upcoming 2024 presidential election.