Professor Bowman: Presidential Pardons and the Problem of Impunity

Frank O. Bowman, III is a University of Missouri Curators’ Distinguished Professor and Floyd R. Gibson Missouri Endowed Professor of Law. Recently he has been writing about the issues that may arise if President Trump issues pardons to his family and associates, or perhaps even to himself. The results of his research are in the article, “Presidential Pardons and the Problem of Impunity,” scheduled for publication in the N.Y.U. Journal of Legislation and Public Policy. He also provides expert commentary to national media on the topic of presidential pardons, included below.

In Print/Online:

The Hill, Jan. 20, 2021: Trump’s pardons harshly criticized by legal experts

Reuters, Jan. 16, 2021: Explainer: Can Trump Pardon Himself? Would the Courts Reject the Move?

Law and Crime, Jan. 8, 2021: It Doesn’t Look Like Trump Can Pardon Himself for Wrongdoing Connected to Capitol Chaos

Law and Crime, Dec. 24, 2020: Legal Experts Destroy Wishful Thinking That Trump’s Pardons May Be Invalidated

Newsweek, Dec. 18, 2020: Trump Won’t Pardon His Family Because They May Testify Against Him, Says Ex-lawyer, Dec. 16, 2020: Your Most Paranoid Questions About Trump’s Pardons, Answered

The Washington Times, Dec. 14, 2020: Potential Trump self-pardon on shaky legal ground as left-leaning prosecutors loom

Blog for Arizona, Dec. 11, 2020: Constitutional Law Professors Debate Whether Trump Can Pardon Himself, Dec. 7, 2020: VERIFY: What are the president’s pardon powers? | The National Law Journal, Dec. 4, 2020: With Trump Presidency Nearing End, Can He Pardon Himself?, Dec. 2, 2020: Can Trump Pre-Pardon His Children?

The New York Times, Dec. 2, 2020: Can Trump Pre-emptively Pardon Allies or Himself? Clemency Power, Explained references Professor Bowman’s Nov. 24 op-ed in Just Security

The Boston Globe, Dec. 2, 2020: Can Trump Do That? 5 Things to Know About Presidential Pardons

The New York Times, Nov. 25, 2020: Trump’s Pardon of Flynn Signals Prospect of a Wave in His Final Weeks in Office references Professor Bowman’s article

PolitiFact, Nov. 24, 2020: Ask PolitiFact: Can Donald Trump Pardon Himself?

The Atlantic, Nov. 21, 2020: The 3 Norms That Trump Could Still Break


Just Security, Dec. 14, 2020: The Constitutionality of Non-Specific Pardons

Slate, Dec. 2, 2020: Trump’s Family Pardon Plan Might Make Him a Bigger Criminal Target

Just Security, Nov. 24, 2020: Why a Self-Pardon Is Not Constitutional

Slate, Nov. 24, 2020: Donald Trump Might Want to Think Twice Before Trying to Pardon Himself (this is a syndication of the Just Security piece)

On Air:

KSRO-AM, Sonoma County, Calif., Dec. 3, 2020: INTERVIEW: Frank Bowman On The Pardoning Power Of The President

Bloomberg Law Podcast, Dec. 2, 2020: Trump Can’t Pardon Himself, But Will He?

Bloomberg Radio, Dec. 2, 2020: Trump Cannot Constitutionally Pardon Himself: Bowman (Radio)