No president in history has pardoned himself. The question is how President Donald Trump does it and if he does it all.

According to an ABC poll, 68% of Americans oppose a self-pardon by the President.

Sources close to the White House say Trump's final pardon list will include about 100 names. Who is on that list is a mystery. Usually an executive agency is dedicated to the process, but during the Trump Administration, he's done the vetting himself. So far, he has granted 70 pardons, many to people close to him both politically and financially.

"Trump sees these as favors that he is able to give out for some future favor," said Bo Wood, a political science professor for the University of North Dakota.

The big question will be if Trump pardons himself or his family. Late reports indicate he will not, but that is not a final decision. It's unclear if he can pardon himself, because no president has ever done it.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

"A school of constitutional thought that the concept of a pardon requires an offense for which you are pardoning, and if there is not an event then the pardon is not a legitimate thing," Wood said.

Trump and his family are not known to be the subject of any criminal investigations at this time. Sources in the White House tell ABC News that the riots at the U.S. Capitol had big impact on the president's decision to most likely not pardon himself.

"His advisors are telling him that (it) makes it harder to claim you had no responsibility and that there actions are completely divorced from yours," Wood explained.

Wood said with no current pending legal matters, that would mean the president would have to offer a blanket pardon of some sort. That's something that has never really been done except President Gerald Ford's pardon of President Richard Nixon. The thought then was to stop all investigations in an effort to allow the country to move on from the Watergate scandal. That pardon was never challenged.