The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) wants to make sure that President Trump does not use presidential pardons irresponsibly and now he’s introduced a bill to ensure just that.
Rep. Schiff is responsible for introducing the Abuse of Pardon Prevention Act, which would ensure that if the pardon is used to cover up any criminal activity involving any president, his family, or businesses, then Congress will know. He posted about it on Twitter:
Presidents can use a pardon to rectify an injustice. They may not use it to obstruct justice.
I just introduced legislation to ensure that if the pardon power is abused to coverup crimes involving any President, his/her family or associates, Congress finds out: pic.twitter.com/RQ3HjWOZhi— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 7, 2019
For instance, Congress will immediately be informed and given investigative privileges if Trump tries to pardon any witness involved with his foreign ties, the 2016 presidential election, or any of his businesses.
The Washington Post reported last week that committees from both the House and Senate are looking into possible attempts by the president to use his pardoning power to obstruct justice. Lawmakers have become especially interested in this after hearing that Michael Cohen (Trump’s former attorney) had previously been in talks about a pardon after having the idea “dangled” to him by Trump aides.
“The Abuse of the Pardon Prevention Act creates a powerful check against deploying pardons in cases involving the president or his immediate family by ensuring that any evidence gathered in such an investigation is provided to Congress.”Rep. Adam Schiff
The bill, which Schiff originally introduced last year but is just gaining new traction in light of recent events, would allow investigative records to be released to the public and thus could be used as a case for impeachment due to Presidential abuse of power.