This piece originally appeared on The Hill.
Once again, the prospect of a misguided presidential pardon is in the news, this time President Trump reportedly offered to pardon aides who break the law to hasten progress on border wall construction.
The pardon power is expansive, and presidents have used it legitimately in a wide variety of circumstances over the centuries. But the power is not a blank check for a president to circumvent the rule of law. Unfortunately, past presidents have crossed this line before, and Trump’s reported comments are just his latest that raise the question of whether he will join this dubious company. Congress must step in to ensure that the executive branch is faithfully executing laws, and it must stand ready to investigate any abuses of the pardon power.
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