If trump issued pocket pardons wouldn't the Biden Administration know?
If he had and since he is no longer President, couldn't they release the information and say who has one right now? Don't want to see AG Garland start rounding up these cretins and we get the Gomer Pyle treatment. Surprise, surprise, surprise! (Yeah, my age is showing, but so what?)
My guess would be that president Biden does not know. They didnt even speak. They had no turnover. I would imagine if there are any they are in a vault somewhere.
And if Trump had issued "pocket pardons" to anyone under investigation, they would have been informed.
There's no way people with pardons in their pockets would stand back and go through the stigma, expense, and hassle of being investigated, being subject to search warrants, etc. if they had a get out jail free card.
He would hold onto them for future profit. The recipients may not even know. Hey Rudy, I might have signed a pardon for you before I left office, but I need a favor..........
There's no way he would be going through all of this if he had a pardon.
But that said, if Trump issued a "pocket pardon" (which I don't think are a thing anyway) and is still holding onto it, it's not a valid pardon because it has to be delivered to and accepted by the person while Trump has the power to issue pardons, i.e., during his presidency. Writing down "I'm pardoning Rudy" but not giving it to him while he's still president isn't a pardon. It's just a note.
The constitution is pretty silent on the process. It would come down to legal history and past precedent I guess.
Hope you are right. But in the end a court would have to decide.
Last edited Thu May 6, 2021, 10:30 AM - Edit history (1)
I am very confident this is how any court would view this. It wouldn't be a very complicated or controversial analysis for any court. It is highly unlikely that pocket pardons are valid. But it is firm precedent that a pardon is operable if it's delivered and accepted. The "pocket" in the term "pocket pardon" means it's in the pocket of the person pardoned, not in that of the person issuing the pardon.
Imagine if a friend of George W. Bush got into legal trouble for something they did years ago when their buddy was president. Assuming the statute of limitations hadn't run and they were investigated or indicted, W, couldn't just pop up and say, "I pardoned him back in 2008, but didn't tell anyone."
But even more important, he couldn't say, "I pardoned him back in 2008, but didn't even tell him." That failure to deliver the pardon, in and of itself, would be enough to make it inoperable.
if they even exist. Personally, I doubt that any such "pocket" pardons exist at all. Further, I don't think they'd stand up legally. Such a thing would probably be found to be unconstitutional and invalid by the federal courts, including the SCOTUS.
Therefore no reason to believe such a pardon is anything but fraudulent.
And since it would likely be challenged, it would have to be convincing to a judge.
proof of issuance during Trump's term and a solid chain of custody proven, assuming that Trump handed a pardon to someone to produce later on.
The power of the pardon, it seems to me, is reserved for the sitting President during his term of office only. I don't see some sort of secret pardon, known only to the former President and the person pardoned, standing up to judicial scrutiny.
First, it would have to be some sort of blanket pardon, I'd think. Second, why was it not published during the issuing President's term?
This seems like a very, very unlikely thing to pass judicial muster. I doubt that Trump even did such a thing anyhow.
Are pocket pardons the same as secret pardons
They could have written them up yesterday?
Richard Nixon survivors could have just found a pardon in one of his old suit pockets.
That sounds like a scam from the get-go.