"Thursday night, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump “has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection” with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia. If he does so, he is playing with fire. No one actually knows if Trump can pardon himself, as previous presidents typically avoided criminal activity — and those that did break the law did not use their official powers in such a transparently self-serving way. Though the president’s power to pardon other people is nearly limitless, many legal scholars believe that a president cannot issue a self-pardon for much the same reason that a judge cannot sit on their own case. But there’s also a very real danger to Trump if he starts doling out pardons to his inner circle. As Keith Harper, an attorney and former Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council under President Obama, first pointed out on Twitter, a pardon would protect Trump’s confidants from prosecution for past acts— but it could also strip them of their Fifth Amendment right to refuse to give self-incriminating testimony."