"If he does this, this will definitely be the first time Trump has ever used the phrase 'pardon me,'" James Corden jokes.
Donald Trump got everyone's attention on Monday morning when he tweeted that he had the "absolute right" to pardon himself, but the comment raised some questions in late night. If he's done nothing wrong, as he also stated in that same tweet, then why bring this up at all? Plus, is it even true?
Add this to Trump's newest legal counsel Rudy Giuliani saying that the president couldn't be indicted even if he shot James Comey in an interview with The Huffington Post, and it starts to sound like Trump's legal team might think he's above the law altogether.
In a memo from Trump's team to Robert Mueller, it was also stated that they believe he shouldn't even be asked to testify as it would demean "the office of the president before the world." It all starts to sound a little full of itself, so Stephen Colbert, James Corden and Jordan Klepper took some time to start picking at the threads to see if their tenuous legal foundation would come apart.
As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018
"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert"
"Why are you bringing it up if you're not gonna do it?" Stephen Colbert said of the president's "pardon" tweet. "That's like a surgeon saying, 'It's just a routine appendectomy. Also, I could kill you at any time, but why would I do that? Okay, now count backwards from ten.'"
He then started to wonder where all of Trump's advisers had even come up with this theory; there's certainly no legal precedent for it. They cited the Constitution as granting Trump this power, so Colbert took a closer look there, right in Article II, Section 2.
"The President shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons... which I guess, hypothetically, includes...himself? Huh. Is it too late to get that king back?" He might have been paraphrasing a little bit there.
Even more shocking for Colbert was Giuliani's claim that Trump couldn't be indicted even if he shot James Comey. "So there it is. The President can commit any crime he wants," Colbert marveled. "He's a one-man Purge. Which would make a great campaign slogan: 'Trump 2020. I Could Kill You in Your Sleep."
"The Late Late Show with James Corden"
James Corden could really only reach one conclusion after reading Trump's tweet. "If you're asking a bunch of legal scholars if you can pardon yourself in the event that you're found guilty of something, I'm gonna say you're probably guilty.
After thinking about it for a moment, he added, "Also, if he does this, this will definitely be the first time Trump has ever used the phrase 'pardon me.'"
With a wink to his audience, Corden joked, "I'm no legal scholar, but I've heard if you pardon yourself too much, you'll go blind."
"The Opposition with Jordan Klepper"
Jordan Klepper took that joke to its ultimate extreme with "citizen journalist" Kobi Libii talking about the challenges and potential rewards of self-pardon. It is absolutely NSFW audio, so we're going to make you watch it yourself if you want to find out just how far he went. Just remember, we did warn you.
The fake conservative pundit broke down the kernels of information revealed into a logical timeline. "Donald Trump didn't do anything!" he pointed out as the logical starting point. Trump said so himself in his tweet.
But Klepper went on. "If he did do something, it is so not a crime. But if it is a crime, he cannot be indicted. And if he were indicted, he can pardon himself." It all makes sense so far.
"Now, loser libs might call those moving the goal post, But they couldn't be more wrong," Klepper tried to clarify. "Trump isn't moving the goal post. That implies he only has one way to win. He's adding new goal posts!"
The only logical conclusion? "Trump has elevated the presidency so high that it's currently located above the law."