If Hillary Becomes President And Gets Indicted, Can She Pardon Herself?

November 01, 2016Nov 01, 2016

With an FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandals being reopened just days before the Nov. 8 election, and with the Clinton Foundation investigation still unresolved, there's a very good possibility that if she is charged, it would happen after Election Day and possibly after Inauguration Day.

So what would that mean if Hillary is president? Could she be impeached for her past crimes? Could she pardon herself?

Legal experts have this to say:

Former defense attorney Gregg Jarrett of Fox News says a president cannot be impeached for anything they did prior to being in office. They can only be impeached for what they do in office. That seems like it would grant Hillary temporary immunity from the e-mail scandal, the Clinton Foundation scandal, and a laundry list of past sins.

However, Jarrett does note that Hillary could be impeached if she obstructs the ongoing investigations while she's in office.

Jarrett says absolutely, citing that President Richard Nixon considered pardoning himself. He does point out, though, that Hillary pardoning herself would be the same as admitting guilt and spark a huge public outcry.

Chris White of Law Newz contradicts Jarrett, though, and says another legality could possibly prevent a self-pardon. He points out that a self-pardon could violate "longstanding legal principals that a person should not act as their own judge and that no person is above the law." An attempt to self-pardon would certainly invoke a massive legal battle.

Former assistant United States attorney Andy McCarthy of the National Review argues that Hillary could actually be impeached for crimes she committed during her time as Secretary of State. In other words, she would be impeached as secretary instead of as president. McCarthy says that the Constitution allows people to still be impeached after they leave office because, he explains, "The point of impeachment is to deny power to any person — not necessarily an incumbent official — whose high crimes and misdemeanors have demonstrated unfitness for a high public trust." Impeachment denies people the ability to hold a future high office like the presidency.

But would impeachment for what she did as Secretary of State remove Hillary from the presidency after she enters the Oval Office? McCarthy doesn't answer that question.

What do you think?