House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that in the wake of President Donald Trump’s commutation of Roger Stone’s criminal sentence, she plans to support a bill limiting the ability of presidents to take such actions.
“President Trump’s decision to commute the sentence of top campaign adviser Roger Stone, who could directly implicate him in criminal misconduct, is an act of staggering corruption,” Pelosi said in a statement on Saturday.
“Congress will take action to prevent this type of brazen wrongdoing. Legislation is needed to ensure that no president can pardon or commute the sentence of an individual who is engaged in a cover-up campaign to shield that President from criminal prosecution,” Pelosi said.
A bill limiting the president’s powers of pardon and commutation would have no chance of becoming law as long as Republicans control the Senate and Trump remains in the White House. The bill would also likely face legal challenges were it to become law.
The Constitution gives the president the power to pardon and reprieve except in cases of impeachment, and some legal scholars say that wording proscribes Congress placing other limits.
(c) 2020, Bloomberg · Erik Wasson