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Action-A-Day 8/9/17: Support the Presidential Pardon Transparency Act to Prevent Trump from Issuing Secret Pardons

Require the White House to Disclose All Presidential Pardons
Ask your representatives to support the Presidential Pardon Transparency Act (HR 3489), to prevent President Trump from granting secret pardons to disrupt the Russia investigation.

HR 3489, introduced by Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi last month, would require the White House to make public any presidential pardons and would prevent the granting of secret pardons by Trump or anyone who succeeds him.   

"We have never needed a law to force the President to disclose pardons before, it has been an accepted custom," Congressman Krishnamoorthi (known as Raja) wrote on Facebook, "but in the wake of recent reports of the White House exploring pardons as a means to derail the Mueller investigation, this bill is now necessary. The President has the power to pardon but the American people should have the right to know how and when he uses it."

Key points from Raja's press release about HR 3489:

  • The bill would require that all Presidential pardons be disclosed to the public within three days of being granted.
  • Presidential pardons can be granted preemptively, before any charges are even filed.  There is currently no legal requirement for the President to disclose such pardons despite their ability to disrupt an investigation. 
  • The bill would establish the principle of transparency of executive pardons into law.

The Washington Post has reported that President Trump has consulted aides and legal counsel about his power to pardon family, aides and even himself.

Trump has asserted that his authority to grant pardons is absolute:

1.  Ask your representatives to sign on as co-sponsors and to support the bill. Although Andy Harris is unlikely to support the measure, his constituents have the right to ask him to explain why he would object to transparency in executive pardons and essentially allow the President to place himself above the law.

Representative Jamie Raskin        

Representative Andy Harris        

2.  Tell the House Committee on Judiciary (where the bill has been referred) that you expect both Republicans and Democrats on the committee to demand transparency in presidential pardons.

3.  You may also wish to thank Congressman Krishnamoorthi for introducing this bill.

Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller’s Russia investigation
The Washington Post, 7/21/17

Could Trump pardon himself and others, then keep it secret? These two bills would prevent both.
GovTrack Insider, 8/3/17

Raja Announces The Presidential Pardon Transparency Act
YouTube / Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (1:14)

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. Track its progress at