House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) introduced legislation Thursday that would dissuade President Donald Trump from “abusing” his pardon power for his own benefit or to obstruct justice.
Schiff said that his legislation would address instances when the president initiates a pardon for an individual linked to an investigation in which the president or a family member is a subject, target or witness. In those instances, the attorney general would be required to submit all evidence against the pardoned individual to Congress.
“The President has a broad power to confer pardons, but not when they are designed to insulate himself, his family and his associates from criminal investigation,” Schiff said in a statement announcing the bill. “Such an abuse of the pardon power would amount to obstruction of justice and is not countenanced by the constitution.”
The House Intelligence Committee Chairman introduced the bill shortly after it was revealed that Cohen reached out to Trump’s lawyers about a potential pardon. Rumors of who Trump could or ever has considered pardoning — including former chairman Paul Manafort — have run rampant over the course of the investigations into the President and his allies, as many suspect Trump will be tempted by the get-out-of-jail-free card.