Trump’s Limited Pardon Options in Georgia
- Former U.S. President Donald Trump is facing 13 counts in Fulton County, Georgia, and is constrained in seeking a pardon.
- The governor of Georgia doesn’t have the power to grant pardons. This power lies with the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, consisting of five members with seven-year terms.
- The board doesn’t consider parole applications until five years of the sentence has been served, without other pending criminal charges.
Possible Alternatives and Challenges
- Trump could attempt to change Georgia’s procedure by influencing the Republican legislature.
- This alteration would necessitate a constitutional amendment, requiring a two-thirds vote in both state legislative houses and ratification by Georgia voters, a complicated and arduous process.
- Trump also has the possibility to pardon himself if he wins the U.S. presidency again, a contentious and untested legal approach.
Unconventional Strategies and Legal Questions
- Conservative radio host Mark Levin posited that Trump might apply federal pardoning to state charges, using the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, an unprecedented maneuver.
- Trump can also follow Mark Meadows’s strategy to move the case to federal court, then seek dismissal or pardon himself if he wins the 2024 presidency.
- These approaches raise novel legal questions, as no former or current president has faced indictment at the state or federal level before.