Donald Trump
Donald TrumpOfficial White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

US President Donald Trump has suggested to aides he wants to pardon himself in the final days of his presidency, two people with knowledge of the discussions told The New York Times on Thursday.

In several conversations since Election Day, Trump has told advisers that he is considering giving himself a pardon and, in other instances, asked whether he should and what the effect would be on him legally and politically, according to the two people.

It was not clear whether he had broached the topic since Wednesday’s violent incident in which protesters stormed the Capitol building, according to The New York Times.

No president has pardoned himself, so the legitimacy of prospective self-clemency has never been tested in the justice system, and legal scholars are divided about whether the courts would recognize it. But they agree a presidential self-pardon could create a dangerous new precedent for presidents to unilaterally declare they are above the law and to insulate themselves from being held accountable for any crimes they committed in office.

A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Presidential pardons apply only to federal law and provide no protection against state crimes. They would not apply to charges that could be brought by prosecutors in Manhattan investigating the Trump Organization’s finances.