Trump: Expert discusses impeachment and 2024 election
Analysts are speculating whether or not the President will pardon himself – an action which would prevent him from being punished for a federal crime. No US president has ever attempted to pardon themselves before, leading some to consider whether it would even be constitutional.
Mr Trump said on Twitter in 2018 that he had the “absolute right” to pardon himself if he wished.
He may do so as he potentially faces numerous legal cases after his presidential term ends on Wednesday.
These legal concerns are varied, ranging from allegations of election and tax fraud to rape.
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Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at the US’ George Washington University, told the BBC in November that “the most significant criminal investigations” facing Mr Trump “are those exploring his tax and bank filings”.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance requested to see eight years of Mr Trump’s tax returns in August 2019.
Mr Vance pointed to “public reports of possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organisation” when requesting the documents.
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Mr Trump has since attempted to block the details from being revealed, with his lawyers claiming the whole case is a “political hit job”. The case is still in limbo in the US Supreme Court.
Meanwhile Mr Vance’s office is also behind an investigation into so-called ‘hush money payments’ said to have been granted on behalf of Mr Trump to two women – model Karen McDougal and adult film actress Stormy Daniels – ahead of the 2016 election to encourage them not to speak about an alleged affair they had with the President-to-be.
In addition, over 30 women have accused Mr Trump of inappropriate sexual behaviour to date, according to the Daily Mirror.
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These include magazine columnist E Jean Carroll, who has accused the president of raping her in the 1990s, and Summer Zervos, who claims Mr Trump sexually assaulted her in 2007.
Both cases may now be set to proceed further when Mr Trump is stripped of the legal protections that come with being president.
At the same time, Mr Trump may also be facing criminal liability following a phone call he made on January 2 this year to the top election official in the US state of Georgia.
Mr Trump asked the official to “find” enough votes to overturn the state’s US election results from November.
According to state law in Georgia, it is illegal to request or attempt to cause another person to commit election fraud and it is also illegal to “deprive” people of a “fair” election process, Reuters reports.
Mr Trump may also face legal issues for the January 6 protests which hit the US Capitol, leaving five people dead.
Some lawyers have reportedly said Mr Trump could be in trouble for a fiery speech he gave beforehand; others say he would be protected by free speech.
The president has denied any responsibility for the protests that took place that day.
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