Isaac Latterell, a Republican member of the South Dakota House of Representatives, encouraged Donald Trump to resign on Friday and highlighted that it would force Joe Biden and his team to reprint all of the merchandise that deems him the 46th commander-in-chief of the United States.
“Trump should resign,” he tweeted. “In protest. With just days left in his term. Mike Pence will become the 46th president. He can issue some pardons and executive orders. And as a bonus, everyone creating ‘Joe Biden 46th President’ gear would have to reprint it.”
Bisnow’s Andrew Nathanson previously made a similar comment on Twitter that addressed the possible ramifications of a Trump resignation that makes way for Pence.
“It’s the subtle jab for blows my mind: Pence would become the 46th president. Biden would become 47 and all those 46 signs and swag would need to be reprinted.”
Author Wesley Chu also predicted the possibility early this month and warned people not to “get ahead” of themselves by assuming that Biden is the 46th head of state.
“There’s a chance Trump might resign early in order for Pence to pardon him so technically Biden could be #47,” he tweeted.
With possible criminal charges awaiting Trump outside of the White House, speculation has swirled around the possibility that he will resign before Biden is inaugurated and have Pence assume the presidency to grant him a pardon. As reported by The Atlanta Voice, Brent Budowsky penned a widely circulated op-ed for The Hill that proposed this scenario. Elsewhere, media outlets like The Independent, Vanity Fair, and Forbes theorized that Trump could offer himself clemency. The latter notably predicted that Biden would offer him clemency — although the Democrat has claimed the opposite.
Despite the speculation that Trump will attempt to pardon himself, CNN reported that it doesn’t seem possible. While the Constitution does not explicitly forbid the action, the news outlet argued that this does not mean the U.S. leader could successfully do it. However, the publication echoed others and noted that Trump could follow in Richard Nixon’s footsteps and allow Pence to take power and offer him clemency.
Outside of his own legal troubles, Trump is also allegedly considering pardons for his allies. According to Politico, the head of state is mulling preemptive pardons for as many as 20 associates and aides before he leaves the White House. However, the publication claims that some GOP allies believe Trump’s alleged plans for his presidential power could backfire.