House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said President Donald Trump showed “contempt” for the law when he told a top administration official he would pardon him if he were jailed for defying the law.
“This just shows the President’s contempt for law, another instance of the President’s contempt for law,” Nadler said on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper.
Nadler said the move was “exactly contrary” to the President’s key duty to execute the law.
“That’s the main job of the President, to see that the laws are faithfully executed,” Nadler said. “And for a president to sabotage that goal by deliberately seeking to break the law is unforgivable.”
Nadler’s comment came in response to a report from CNN that Trump told then-head of the Customs and Border Protection agency that he would pardon him if he faced jail for denying entry to migrants. Trump has since named the official, Kevin McAleenan, the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security.
The report noted that it was unclear if the comment from Trump was a joke, and the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that Trump had not directed McAleenan “to do anything illegal.” Trump denied in a tweet on Saturday that he offered pardons to DHS officials.
“I never offered Pardons to Homeland Security Officials, never ordered anyone to close our Southern Border (although I have the absolute right to do so, and may if Mexico does not apprehend the illegals coming to our Border), and am not “frustrated.” It is all Fake & Corrupt News!” Trump said.
Nadler said Sunday that “offering a pardon even if in jest” for violating the law was wrong and anticipated reviewing this kind of conduct after he is able to review special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
“It’s part of a pattern of conduct we certainly have to take a look at after we see the Mueller report,” Nadler said.