Tags: donald trump | paul manafort | pardon | john yoo | victory

Yoo: A Trump Pardon Would 'Grasp Defeat From 'Jaws of Victory'

Yoo: A Trump Pardon Would 'Grasp Defeat From 'Jaws of Victory'
President Donald Trump (Evan Vucci/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 November 2017 12:00 PM

Just because you can doesn't mean you should, and President Donald Trump absolutely should not issue blanket pardons to Paul Manafort or anyone else, John Yoo wrote in a column for The New York Times.

To do so "would not violate the Constitution, it would provoke a political disaster," wrote Yoo, former deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush administration.

"But unless Mr. Trump wants to meet the same end as Richard Nixon, he should resort only to pardons that promote the central purpose of the power," Yoo writes in the Times.

And while it might be debatable whether issuing pardons to those ensnared in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation would fill the bill, there's no debating how unnecessary it is — the indictments earlier this week draw no links to Trump himself.

"In the popular mind, pardons imply the commission of a crime. Indeed, a pardon here would grasp defeat from the jaws of victory because the charges against Mr. Manafort show no connection at all between Russia and the 2016 campaign," writes Yoo, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

"A blanket pardon is the wrong cure for the wrong disease," Yoo writes. "If Mr. Mueller is acting improperly, the remedy is to fire him, not to pre-emptively forgive everyone involved in the crime. A blanket pardon would prompt congressional moves toward impeachment.

"Mr. Trump should welcome the latest step in the Mueller investigation. Only by cooperating can he credibly prove his innocence," Yoo concludes.

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Just because you can doesn't mean you should, and President Donald Trump absolutely should not issue blanket pardons to Paul Manafort or anyone else, John Yoo wrote in a column for The New York Times.
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Wednesday, 01 November 2017 12:00 PM
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