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Opinion

Readers React: Stop panicking. Not even the power to pardon can save Trump from the trouble he’s in

Donald Trump
President Trump at a bill signing ceremony at the White House on May 30.
(Evan Vucci / AP)

To the editor: Let’s take a step back from the panic and posturing over President Trump’s assertion that he has the “absolute” right to pardon himself.

Trump’s pronouncement is rendered moot by the U.S. Constitution, which expressly prohibits the president from using the pardon power in the case of impeachment. That’s a constitutional and legislative check on the president.

It may be open to debate whether or not a president could pardon himself, but even if he were to do so for any of the findings of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation or any other crime, he could still be impeached and removed from office by Congress for, ironically and among other things, the act of pardoning himself.

Also, if an indictment were held back pending his removal from office, Trump would no longer have the power to pardon himself or anyone else. The law would thus prevail.

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Michael Solomon, Canoga Park

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To the editor: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) states that the president having the “absolute right” to pardon himself would make the United States virtually a monarchy.

It is important to note that absolute monarchies are rare today. The last English monarch who attempted to govern “absolutely” was King Charles I. He believed in his divine right to rule, dissolving Parliament when it suited him.

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He was put on trial for treason in 1649 and, not recognizing the legitimacy of the court, refused to enter a plea. He was judged guilty and subsequently executed — enshrining forever the principle that no one, not even a king, is above the law.

Cabell Smith, Pacific Palisades

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To the editor: To assert that the president is above the law by saying he could shoot someone without getting prosecuted is dangerous.

Millions of people in this country believe Trump is being unfairly targeted by the government. The rest of us believe that he is attempting to become a dictator or at least trying to do whatever he wants without consequence, and Congress seems unwilling to stop him.

This is truly a tale of two countries. I know that some political pundits have suggested that truth will prevail and all will be well, which seems to be a timid response to a truly horrifying situation. Others are frightened at the lack of action by anyone other than Mueller.

I may seem to be an alarmist, but you tell me: Do you feel comfortable?

Rosemary Watson, Los Angeles

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