On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe broke down the implications of the new report that Rudy Giuliani and President Donald Trump discussed a possible pre-emptive pardon.
"So Rudy Giuliani, we know, is among the Trump allies asking for a pardon, a pre-emptive pardon, and we're also getting breaking news about the DOJ, now, tonight, professor, investigating a potential bribery scheme for a presidential pardon," said anchor Erin Burnett. "We understand this investigation was launched back in August. Do you connect these dots?"
"It seems to me, it's very important," said Tribe. "Everybody agrees that you can't pardon someone ahead of the time that they actually commit a crime. That kind of preemptive pardon is impossible, and yet when you are engaged in bargaining with somebody about a possible pardon at a time when they are still engaged in all kinds of shenanigans, you are essentially saying go ahead, commit crimes if you want, and retrospective I'll give you the kind of sweeping pardon that I have now given Michael Flynn."
"It's an extreme abuse of the pardon power, almost as extreme as the self-pardon that Hannity has now urged Trump to grant himself," added Tribe. "It's all an absolute violation of fundamental constitutional principles."