Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen introduced a bill which would prevent Donald Trump from pardoning himself or his family members in case they are indicted. Trump himself, as well as his associates and family members, are the subject of numerous investigations by special counsel Robert Mueller and New York prosecutors.
Legal experts expect Trump to be implicated as a result of the parallel investigations into his campaign’s alleged “collusion” with Russia, obstruction of justice, as well as violating campaign finance laws. It has been widely speculated that in case indictments for himself or his family members were to follow, Trump would seek to avoid the consequences by pardoning himself. University of California Professor Emeritus Jon Wiener predicted in an LA Times op-ed that Trump is bound to be indicted, adding that if charges were to be brought against him this year, he would likely resign before being pardoned by Vice President Mike Pence.
But Democrats, who now hold a House majority, seem intent on foiling this escape plan. Democrat Steve Cohen introduced a couple of bills on the first night of the 116th Congress, one of which would make it impossible for Trump to pardon himself or his family members.
“This constitutional amendment would expressly prohibit this and any future president, from abusing the pardon power.”
Cohen also introduced another controversial bill seeking the abolition of the electoral college. Trump won the 2016 presidential elections despite receiving fewer votes than Hillary Clinton, and Cohen believes the electoral college needs to be eliminated for completely fair elections.
It is unlikely that either of the two bills introduced by Cohen would eventually become laws since they require a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress and then must be ratified by three-fourths of states. But the sheer fact that Democrats are now pushing for such bills is proof of their newfound confidence in their ability to oust Trump before his tenure ends in 2020. With Democrats now controlling the House, numerous Congressional investigations into Trump campaign contributions and the financial operations of the Trump Organization are set to take place, and it is seeming increasingly likely that he — or his family members — will face severe consequences later this year.
Cohen has previously himself expressed the opinion that he expects Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. to be indicted. If that was to happen, he is trying to make sure they face the repercussions of their actions.