For Hanson, potential presidential self-pardon raises serious questions

January 14, 2021 Folha de S. Paulo

Hanson told Folha de S. Paulo, Brazil's largest newspaper, that any self-pardon would be controversial and probably end up in front of the Supreme Court. The court has a majority of conservative judges – three of whom are appointed by Trump. “From the point of view of legal philosophy, many who interpret the law conservatively do not believe that the president has the power to forgive himself,” Hanson said.

The process, in this case, would be controversial and contaminate the start of the Biden government, preventing it from advancing its agenda. “We would be in a state of constant upheaval,” he said.

“If you go back to when the Constitution gave that power to the president, the idea was that he could control the judiciary,” Hanson said. “But what we’re seeing today is something else. Forgiveness even before someone is charged with a crime. It’s executive excess. I’m ready to have this conversation. It would be complicated to change the Constitution, but we must question the presidential pardon.