'My jaw hit the floor -- this is lawless!' CNN legal analyst stunned by Trump vows to pardon lawbreaking officials
CNN legal analyst Elie Honig (Screen cap).

President Donald Trump has reportedly told his own officials that he will pardon them if they commit crimes in the process of seizing private property to build his long-promised border wall.


Former federal prosecutor Elie Honig on Wednesday told CNN's Jim Sciutto that Trump's comments about pardoning officials who break the law is a direct threat to the rule of law in the United States.

Sciutto began his interview by asking Honig whether the president telling someone in advance that he would pardon them if they committed crimes constituted obstruction of justice.

"It could be, Jim," Honig replied. "My jaw hit the floor when I saw this. In a word, this is lawless. This is lawless for the president of the United States to say, 'Go ahead and break the law and I'll take care of you later.'"

Honig went on to say that, even though the Constitution grants the president broad powers to pardon people, it does not grant him the right to preemptively pardon them for something that they haven't yet done. The reason for this, Honig argued, is that "you don't want someone out there carte blanche to commit crimes at will -- that is lawlessness."

Watch the video below.