If you were hoping for a last-minute pardon from President Trump, ABC News' Jonathan Karl has some bad news for you. After last week's assault on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, right after Trump urged them to march on the Capitol, Trump is not in the pardoning mood, Karl told anchor David Muir on Monday's ABC World News Tonight.
"The president has been warned, David, by some of his lawyers that if he goes ahead and pardons himself, he could be more vulnerable to civil lawsuits, including from some of those injured in the Capitol riot, because a self-pardon would be seen as an admission that he did something wrong that he would need to be pardoned for," Karl said. "The president is angry, he has not taken that well, and I am told that he is now saying that he doesn't want to see pardons for anybody. So the attitude seems to be: 'If I can't get a pardon, then nobody else should get one, either.'"
Trump is holed up in the White House with a dwindling group of advisers as the House moves to impeach him for a second time, probably with some Republican support this time, after social media companies kicked him off his favorite form of communication and companies say they will no longer do business with him. The PGA's decision to drop his New Jersey golf course from hosting the 2022 PGA Championship "is a big blow to Donald Trump," Karl confirmed. "I am told that the president is livid about this."
It isn't clear Trump actually has the authority to pardon himself — no president has ever tried — but White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and other advisers have explained to Trump that even if he could insulate himself from federal criminal charges, he could still be sued, ABC News reports. "Think O.J.," one adviser reportedly told Trump, referring to O.J. Simpson paying steep civil damages after he was acquitted of murder. Following these conversations, ABC News says, the entire pardon process has been put "on hold."