Attorney makes the case for indicting Trump for federal crimes even if he pardons himself

In a comprehensive column for the conservative Bulwark, attorney Philip Rotner examined the multiple legal perils Donald Trump is facing after he leaves office and suggested federal authorities should indict the president -- if warranted -- even if he pardons himself.

Although it is only speculation that the president will attempt to absolve himself of all federal crimes by bestowing a presidential pardon upon himself before leaving office, there is also speculation that he will resign and then Vice President Mike Pence would issue the pardon once he assumes the presidency -- if only briefly until President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

As Rotner writes, and has been well documented, the president would lose his immunity from prosecution at the state level once he leaves office but federal crimes is a completely different matter.

As former federal prosecutors Donald Ayers and Dennis Afergut wrote in USA Today, should Trump self-pardon, "its legality will be decided in the Supreme Court if Trump were indicted" for federal crimes.

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