google is your friend. It appears from a number of articles that a president could pardon himself (theoretically) except that this would only apply to Federal criminal indictments and not for impeachment. That is, if being impeached, the president is not being handled by the normal court system and cannot bypass the House and Senate. It also appears that crimes committed in another country would not be covered by this pardon power as extradition would be handled by the next president. If the president committed a state crime (such as bank robbery or murder) he would not have the power to pardon himself.
Offenses Against the United States
Offenses Against the United States.—There are no common-law offenses against the United States. Only those acts which Congress has
forbidden, with penalties for disobedience of its command, are
crimes.7 Actions to recover penalties imposed by act of Congress
generally but not invariably have been held not to be criminal
prosecutions,8 as is true also of deportation proceedings,9 but
contempt proceedings which were at one time not considered to be
criminal prosecutions are no longer within that category.10 To what
degree Congress may make conduct engaged in outside the territorial
limits of the United States a violation of federal criminal law is a
matter not yet directly addressed by the Court.11
Can A President Pardon Himself?
The right to pardon is an authority given to the President of the
United States (POTUS) by the US Constitution in Article II, Section 2.
This section specifically reads that the POTUS “shall have power to
grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States,
except in cases of impeachment.” Essentially, the only way
presidential pardon is restricted by the constitution is under the
circumstance of the sitting president being impeached. Self-pardon is
not restricted by law, and under interpretation by the Supreme Court,
a president could have the right to pardon himself not only for crimes
he has committed, but also for crimes with which he has not yet been
charged. As of yet, no president has actually pardoned himself for
committing crimes or from actions that might later be considered
Can President Clinton Pardon Himself?
The simplest interpretation is that the president can pardon any
federal criminal offense, including his own, but cannot pardon an
impeachment. In other words, Clinton is free to immunize himself from
criminal prosecution, but has no power over Congress.
The power to pardon is one of the least limited powers granted to the
President in the Constitution. The only limits mentioned in the
Constitution are that pardons are limited to offenses against the
United States (i.e., not civil or state cases), and that they cannot
affect an impeachment process. A reprieve is the commutation or
lessening of a sentence already imposed; it does not affect the legal
guilt of a person. A pardon, however, completely wipes out the legal
effects of a conviction. A pardon can be issued from the time an
offense is committed, and can even be issued after the full sentence
has been served. It cannot, however, be granted before an offense has
been committed, which would give the President the power to waive the