Sunday, November 15, 2020


This is an easy one:

I find it remarkable that people think Trump would resign before his term is up. Resigning, even as part of a deal in his last hours as president, would be an act of weakness in Trump's eyes. For Trump weakness is the worst of all possible sins.

I've argued that Trump has had a tremendous run of luck throughout his life. I think it's possible that he'll choose to roll the dice and take his chances in upcoming court cases.

But if he doesn't, he'll pardon himself on the way out the door. He'd do that even if he weren't averse to the idea of resigning and being pardoned by Pence, for one simple reason:

A pardon from Pence would raise few legal questions. A self-pardon would raise many more. Scholars generally believe a president can't pardon himself.

Which is why he'll do it -- because it will enrage people who believe in the rule of law. Trump loves doing things that infuriate people who respect rules and norms.

And he might not do it with hours to go. He might do it a week or two in advance, so he can savor the outrage. (And also so he can give William Barr's Justice Department time to declare him perfectly within his rights to do it.)

Oh yeah, he'll enjoy this. Of the two possibilities mentioned above, it's definitely the one he'll choose.

No comments: