Newt Gingrich has no problem with Donald Trump breaking the law. The former Speaker of the House thinks laws about nepotism and foreign business entanglements shouldn’t apply to Trump and that he can use his powers to just ignore the law.
Gingrich said Trump should be able to hire his children as official advisers and could pardon them if they commit any offenses. Presidents are not permitted to hire family members, though Trump depends heavily on his adult children for advice. Gingrich also suggested that Congress should change the law to allow Trump to continue running his businesses.
“In the case of the president, he has a broad ability to organize the White House the way he wants to. He also has, frankly, the power of the pardon.” Gingrich said. “It is a totally open power, and he could simply say, ‘Look, I want them to be my advisers. I pardon them if anyone finds them to have behaved against the rules. Period.’ Technically, under the Constitution, he has that level of authority.”
Gingrich’s suggestion is basically that Trump should break the law and use his powers to avoid consequences. Gingrich’s embrace of acting outside the law is a worrying development. There is already some expert opinion that Trump will violate the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause on his first day and now a close adviser is suggesting the law should not apply to Trump.
Some commentators, including Keith Olbermann and Robert Reich, have warned about potential tyranny under Trump. The idea that Trump should behave as if he is above the law should be of grave concern.