A few weeks ago, I reported that President Trump’s administration was planning to pardon just under 5,000 people, including hundreds of convicted felons, according to the Congressional Research Service.
This is just over half of the nearly 20,000 pardons the president granted during his first term.
But it’s not just the White House who is planning to grant pardons, it’s Congress as well.
The Trump administration is proposing to double the number of people it can pardon and the amount of time it can wait before it does so.
The president has proposed that Congress allow the president to pardon individuals for up to a year, which means that the president could pardon anyone for as long as three months.
But that would be a change from the previous administration, when it granted pardons for a maximum of six months.
The most recent president, George W. Bush, did not pardon individuals until January of 2020, and President Barack Obama granted clemency to an additional 11,000 individuals from January 2009 through March 2021.
In that time, the White, House, and Justice Department spent more than $400 million on pardons and commutations.
The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel has been reviewing Trump’s proposal and has not yet made a decision, but the White’s proposed timeline for pardons is a departure from past presidents who did not offer pardons until December of their first year in office.
The administration’s proposal to increase the time allowed for pardoning has been criticized by legal scholars and former federal prosecutors, who argue that it is inconsistent with the president’s constitutional authority to pardon.
“The president is not a criminal,” former attorney general Eric Holder told The New York Times.
“There is no presumption that he’s guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If the president is wrong, he’s wrong.”
The proposal for a six-month delay, however, is not just a departure for Trump.
It is also a departure, according, to Justice Department guidelines, from past administrations.
During the Obama administration, pardons were granted in two weeks.
During Bush’s first term, pardas were granted for a year and a half.
The previous administration’s delay in pardons was due in part to a conflict of interest, according the White White House.
According to the White Senate, a group of eight lawyers and experts led by former U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick, who was appointed by President George W., wrote a letter to the president in February that argued that the Trump administration was “making an unusual and unprecedented exercise of executive power.”
They argued that while the pardon power of the president was clearly enumerated in Article II, the president had no obligation to give a specific timeframe to its exercise.
“This is clearly a departure and a departure that is not consistent with the longstanding practice of the Executive Branch,” the letter said.
The White House’s plan to delay pardons would also leave many in Congress with questions about how the president would enforce the new policy.
“With the White house and the Justice Department now proposing to delay and potentially cancel all pardons in the first six months of President Trump, what is the President going to do with all those pardons?
How will the president enforce this new policy?” asked Sen. Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Will the president be able to exercise his pardon power under the pardons provisions of the Constitution?
Will Congress continue to make its own checks and balances on executive power?
And how will the public know that he has actually exercised the power to grant clemencies?”
Sen. Dick Durbin, the senior Democrat on Durbins Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, told The Daily Beast that the administration’s move was “outrageous and wrong” and that the public should be concerned.
“It’s time for the president and his team to put their feet down and take the time to study the consequences of their plans,” Durbino added.