pelosi, trump
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there should be a law to curb President Trump's pardon power.

During an interview with CNN host Anderson Cooper, Pelosi called Trump's commutation of former aide Roger Stone "appalling." The California Democrat also said she recommends passing a law that would prevent the president from exercising his constitutional power if the person being pardoned is politically connected to him.

"For the president to be able to issue a pardon on the basis of a crime that the person committed assisting the president is ridiculous, and there ought to be a law," Pelosi began. "And I'm recommending that we pass a law that presidents cannot issue a pardon if the crime that the person is in jail for is one that is caused by protecting the president, which this was. It's appalling."

The power to pardon is an explicitly noted presidential power in Article II of the Constitution. "He shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment," the Constitution reads. To alter presidential pardon power would likely require an amendment to the Constitution itself.

Trump did not pardon Stone and thus did not erase his criminal record but rather fully commuted his three-year sentence on Friday evening. Stone, 67, had been ordered to surrender to prison on Tuesday. His emergency appeal to extend his July 14 surrender date because of the coronavirus was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit earlier in the evening Friday.

The White House statement said Stone "would be put at serious medical risk" if sent to prison.