Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove is cautioning President Trump to be “very careful” when deciding who to pardon before leaving office.
“[Issuing pardons is] one of the unlimited powers in the Constitution granted to the president, and presidents should be very careful of exercising unlimited power,” the Fox News contributor said on “America’s Newsroom” on Tuesday.
TRUMP MAY ISSUE 50 TO 100 COMMUTATIONS, PARDONS BEFORE TERM ENDS; RAPPER LIL WAYNE EXPECTED TO BE ON LIST
Rove argued pardons can leave either a “good taste” or “bad taste” in the mouths of the American people.
“Good pardons tend to be pardons that are granted because somebody has done either been the victim of an injustice in the legal system, or because they’ve done something in their life since they violated the law that is worthy of pardoning them for their previous crimes,” Rove told Dana Perino and Bill Hemmer.
However, Rove said pardoning certain figures, such as Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, would not be in Trump’s best interest.
Bannon was among four suspects arrested and indicted in August in connection with an online fundraising campaign that allegedly defrauded donors of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Trump has until Wednesday at noon to issue pardons and commutations. He is expected to issue between 50 and 100 commutations and pardons before leaving office, two sources familiar with the list told Fox News.
PAMELA ANDERSON PLEADS WITH TRUMP TO PARDON ‘FREE SPEECH HERO’ ASSANGE: ‘DO THE RIGHT THING’
Sources with knowledge of the process say Trump is not expected to grant protective pardons for any members of his family, nor is he expected to attempt to issue a pardon for himself.
Rapper Lil Wayne, who pleaded guilty to a federal gun charge in Florida last month, is expected to be on the list, while WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is not expected to be on the list.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Rove also reflected on Trump’s legacy and how his four years as president has changed the nation.
“The president left a strong economy, a rebuilt defense,” Rove said. “He’s also left a country that’s bitterly divided. And we’ll see how his successor does at uniting us.”
Fox News’ John Roberts, Kristin Fisher and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.