Trump needs to read the following: Under Article II, Section 2, Clause 1, presidents have "power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment". My source for this is the BBC article published available below. Five words closing the brief text show that the Constitution took the trouble to deal openly with a highly unlikely possibility.

No blank check

That unlikely possibility is that a dictatorially-inclined President whose actions were impeachable might infer that the Constitution was essentially a blank check to get out of jail, to use a Monopoly term.

The Constitution, therefore, said that the President's power is blanket for federal offenses with the explicit exception of impeachment cases.

Is Trump's claim impeachable?

Now the Constitution does not say what to do in case a president actually claims this power which Trump has clearly done. Just in case you have a question, here is his tweet to that effect, published in a flood of anxious early morning tweets mostly blaming Hillary Clinton.


Here, also, is the BBC article:

As I say, the basic writing within the Constitution is clear.

Should Trump or anyone else suffer impeachment the president would not have pardon power. If I am wrong, then the Constitution is clearly fake news.

This is not playing around

Tweeting in the early morning is consistent with Donald Trump's way of dealing with reality. It is a combination of deflection, denial and outlandish claims like the one we are dealing with now.

It is outlandish to believe that a nation where no person is above the law would claim this does not apply to a president. Only Donald Trump would have the gall to claim otherwise.

The reason this is not playing around is that we have all sorts of potential for foul play on the part of the man who wrote the false tweet that no one seems to be reporting as news.

Trump is able to do mischief as president that would be designed to fire up his base and create civil unrest. He can foment war.

A dangerous man

He can manipulate public opinion and neutralize opposition. In the event of protests, he can create repressive measures and implement them. He already has most of the tools he needs to make a genuine run at dictatorship. We have yet to see anyone in his circle who might be depended on to resist conduct that would qualify as beyond the pale.

Is this alarmism?

This is what you write when the president of the US says he is above the law, contradicting the Constitution, in a country that is dangerously passive in the face of signs that students of these matters regard as indicative.