A CNN report said that a grand jury approved charges in special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation, and someone may be arrested as early as Monday, but Law Newz founder Dan Abrams suggested Sunday that President Donald Trump‘s pardon power may transform the entire dynamic.
“The fact that the president can pardon any of these people–at least on any federal crime, doesn’t mean necessarily on a state crime–but on the federal crime, means that they can be thinking, feeling ‘You know what, if I get indicted, that’s okay. I’m not going to respond to the pressure from the federal authorities the way that someone ordinarily would because I know that I’m ultimately going to get pardoned,'” Abrams said on This Week. “That’s going to be a really big question both for Mueller’s team and the potential defendants.”
U.S. intelligence officials say Russia engaged in interference efforts in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump win. Mueller is looking into this, and as part of this probe, he and his team are investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is a Trump ally, also appeared on Sunday’s episode of This Week. He denied Abrams’ suggestion. If anyone thinks they are going to get pardoned, “they should talk to Scooter Libby,” Christie said. “They should talk to others who thought they were going to be pardoned. All the people involved in Watergate, and the pardons they thought they might be getting from President Nixon. They are still waiting.”
In response, Abrams brought up Trump’s pardon in August of ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
“This is a president who is ready, willing and able to use his pardon power,” Abrams said.
Christie said that those were “different circumstances” and Arpaio’s charges had nothing to do with Trump.
Arpaio, who was convicted for criminal contempt for ignoring a court order to stop immigration patrols, supported Trump during the election. Both men share hardline attitudes on undocumented immigrants.
[Screengrab via ABC]