Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Wednesday called for reforming the use of the president’s pardon power after former President Trump granted clemency to 143 individuals as his final act of office, including Stephen Bannon, his former strategist, who was charged with defrauding donors.
“I can’t imagine the founders in providing for pardon power for a president anticipated that presidents would use it to reward political friends, and as a result I would hope that we could develop a tradition of more narrowly providing pardons,” Romney said.
Romney said there should be a tradition of “not providing them to people who are cronies or political individuals.”
Romney said he “would love to see a constitutional remedy” even though he acknowledged “it’s unlikely that something like that can get passed just given the difficult process of passing a constitutional amendment.”
Senators say the president’s pardon power is broad because of Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, which states the president “shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”
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