Trump may be unable to receive pardon in Georgia case

 August 17, 2023

President Trump may be unable to receive a pardon for newly filed criminal charges in Georgia, according to legal observers. 

The governor of Georgia is unable to grant pardons, and it's unclear if Trump would be able to pardon himself, since the charges in Georgia fall under state law.

"With a federal case, if he wins the election, he can kind of make it go away,” ABC legal analyst Dan Abrams said on Good Morning America. “This case, he can’t do that.”

No pardon for Trump?

The 13-count indictment in Georgia is the most sweeping of the four cases against Trump, accusing the former president of pursuing a "criminal enterprise" to stay in office.

Pardons in Georgia are handled by a five-member pardons Board, and the board may only consider pardons five years after a convict has finished their sentence.

Even if Georgia's governor had the power to pardon, it's unclear how he would act. Trump has a poor relationship with Governor Brian Kemp (R), who has rejected Trump's stolen election claims.

To speculate about pardons may be premature, but Trump is undoubtedly facing an uphill battle. He faces over 700 years in prison total from four separate cases in Georgia, Florida, Washington, and New York - all heavily pro-Biden areas, with the exception of Florida.

The multiple prosecutions have created a scenario unprecedented in American history, raising difficult questions about what comes next. A conviction would not bar Trump from reclaiming the presidency, but the scope of the relief available to him through pardons has been debated.

Unprecedented scenario

Fox News host and lawyer Mark Levin is a notable exception arguing that Trump could pardon himself of state charges, saying the tradition against indicting sitting presidents logically applies to both state and federal charges.

Fulton County prosecutor Fani Willis wants a trial date in March, but the case is likely to be drawn out by pre-trial litigation.

Trump may try to move the case to federal court, where he might find a more favorable jury. His former chief of staff Mark Meadows, one of the 18 "co-conspirators" in Georgia, is seeking to move his case to federal court.

Finally, it appears logical that winning the presidency would at least delay Trump's sentence. If anyone could pull off such an improbable feat, it would be Trump.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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