Presidential Pardons Cannot be Illegal, Period.

Photo Credit: a katz /
Written by Onan Coca

Leftwing law professor Alan Dershowitz has written a new book wherein he PROVES that a presidential pardon cannot ever be illegal.


In a roundtable discussion on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopolous, Dershowitz explains that there is simply no Constitutional case for charging a president with “obstruction” based on his decision to pardon someone. The President has carte blanche to pardon anyone he chooses to pardon.

Alan Dershowitz: As I argue in my book, you need to commit a crime to be impeached.

And if he’s committed previous crimes — there’s no evidence of that — that won’t work. But if he commits the crime of perjury, he’s in Clinton-land…

George Stephanopoulos: Do you think Mueller can write a report, make a case on obstruction without interviewing the president?

Alan Dershowitz: No, I don’t. I think where we respectfully disagree is a president — and I argue this and I think I prove it conclusively — a president cannot be charged with obstruction of justice for merely exercising his power under Article II.

He can be, the way Nixon was and Clinton was —

George Stephanopoulos: The question is what was going on in his mind —

Alan Dershowitz: You cannot question a president’s motives when the president acts. If a president pardons, that’s it. If a president fires, that’s it. You can’t go beyond the act and get into his motive or into his intent. No president has ever been…

George Stephanopoulos: — is pardoning someone to cover up a murder?

Alan Dershowitz: It doesn’t matter. The pardon is the pardon. The covering up of the murder may be an independent crime, the pardon cannot be the actus reus of a crime because you cannot have an actus reus of a crime that is a constitutionally protected act…

You can’t start probing the motives of presidents, all presidents have mixed motives all the time. They’re political, they’re ideological, they’re patriotic, they’re — can I write a good book after I finish my term?

Dershowitz is right, the Constitution gives the President the power to pardon and it doesn’t put conditions on the “why” of his reasons/rationale for doing so.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Onan Coca

Onan is the Editor-in-Chief at Romulus Marketing and Bravera Holdings. He's also the managing editor at,, and the managing partner at You can read more of his writing at Eagle Rising.
Onan is a graduate of Liberty University (2003) and earned his M.Ed. at Western Governors University in 2012. Onan lives in Atlanta with his wife and their five wonderful children.

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