Can Trump pre-pardon his children?

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It’s something you ask of somebody else for something you’ve already done. And that, more or less, is how it’s been viewed in the Constitution.
But each day brings new reporting about how President Donald Trump might creatively stretch and bend his expansive pardon power not just to protect himself but also to shield his children and his closest associates from future legal problems — all moves that would test the spirit of the power and legal precedent.
Trump has yet to acknowledge his electoral defeat, but he’s clearly eyeing the door. We’ve heard about his interest in using the pardon power on himself, a prophylactic application that is not specifically verboten but would betray the legal principle of standing in judgment of oneself. CNN’s Jim Acosta reported Wednesday that the public should expect a “flurry” of pardons before Trump leaves office — and that some of his advisers believe that it would be perfectly fine for Trump to pardon his family members and other associates preemptively, even though they haven’t been charged with any crimes.
We also learned this week that the Department of Justice is investigating a potential presidential pardon bribery scheme, although details are few, and no charges have been leveled. CNN has also reported on Trump’s consideration of pardoning:
  • Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who worked for him on his campaigns and in the White House.
  • Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who helped with his campaigns and ran his business and his now-defunct charity.
  • Rudy Giuliani, who sought dirt on Joe Biden from foreign governments and has been Trump’s lawyer.
Trump’s already pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty twice to lying to the FBI but had not yet been sentenced, for any and all crimes pertaining to the special counsel investigation.

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