An opinion columnist at The Hill has predicted that after pardoning people in his inner circle, "Trump will resign from the presidency before his term officially ends, and he will be pardoned by Vice President Pence, when Pence becomes president."
Columnist Brent Budowsky explains, "A presidential pardon by Pence would not offer protection from cases originating in states, but those cases will be far more manageable if they are not sunk into a morass of federal cases that only a federal pardon can protect him from."
Without a federal pardon, Budowsky continues, Trump will almost certainly spend his coming years stuck in federal cases that not only threaten his freedom, but also his ability to secure lucrative multibillion-dollar business deals capitalizing off of his presidency and media savvy.
However, Trump would remain on the hook for criminal investigations on the state level.
If President Trump resigns and then Mike Pence pardons him, someday that will be the first line of Pence’s obituary.— Elie Honig (@Elie Honig)1605206670.0
@beckyjo17 @ProjectLincoln I mean, in the final hours of Trump's presidency, it would make sense for Trump to resig… https://t.co/nBF1DbL7rZ— Herby the Box Turtle (@Herby the Box Turtle)1605371794.0
@RawStory @SmithBlindlib5 The best way out for Trump now is to resign and let Pence take over the transition and pa… https://t.co/ilGNN0D3zi— 🇺🇸✝️TakeAKnee 💙#VetsResist 💙 (@🇺🇸✝️TakeAKnee 💙#VetsResist 💙)1605371448.0
@JohnFugelsang If Pence pardons trump, essentially condoning all he did, he will go straight to hell. Cannot pass G… https://t.co/CsSSUWUELc— LJ (@LJ)1605371265.0
@JohnFugelsang An alternative sort of scenario is Pence is coerced to resign. Trump nominates his Barbie daughter t… https://t.co/dDHok9aHHB— (((JC))) (@(((JC))))1605370453.0