If the president pardons himself of one crime being investigated and then resigns, but is then later suspected of another crime from evidence found in the initial investigation, can he be prosecuted for the second crime?

So if he is investigated for collusion and pardons himself, but then evidence from that investigation shows tax evasion; can he be charged/prosecuted for tax evasion after he resigns as president?

1 Answer 1


This answer is based on the assumption that the President can pardon himself. It's not exactly clear if the President can do so as the Constitution neither allows or disallows it explicitly.

Yes, anyone pardoned for a specific crime can still be charged for other crimes that he was not pardoned for.

However, the example that you've cited – "collusion", is relatively broad and there's no one crime that covers it. So, it would make more sense to issue a broader pardon, as explained below.

The President can issue a presidential pardon for all offenses committed during a certain period.

An example is the presidential pardon issued by Gerald Ford to his predecessor Richard Nixon.

The text of Ford’s Pardon Proclamation is as follows:

Now, THEREFORE, I, GERALD R. FORD, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.

(emphasis mine)

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    @MoziburUllah The pardoning powers of the President do not change, regardless of who he pardons.
    – Panda
    Aug 5, 2017 at 12:00
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    @MoziburUllah A moral distinction does not a legal distinction make. A president pardoning himself has never occurred, and has never been tested by Congress or the Courts. Nixon is reported to have considered the idea of pardoning himself, but things started spiraling out of control so fast that he didn't want to add another potential controversy; he left it to Ford (who was under no obligations to do so). And a pardon is irrelevant to an impeachment anyway; it'd be to safeguard against criminal prosecutions after an impeachment. Aug 5, 2017 at 20:02
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    Is "collusion" actually a crime in federal statute?
    – user4012
    Aug 6, 2017 at 0:01
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    @user4012 "If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both." - 18 U.S. Code § 371.
    – D M
    Aug 6, 2017 at 14:03
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    @user4012Perhaps I should have used another hypothetical example.There is more description about Computer fraud or election law violation in this Politico article, 2017/07/12, 'What Is Collusion?': "Collusion is not a federal crime (except in the unique case of antitrust law), so we should all just stop using “collusion” as a short-hand for criminality. But that doesn’t mean that the alleged cooperation...is of no criminal interest." – Aug 6, 2017 at 14:56

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