Although the media has treated Donald Trump’s pardons as some sort of magic wand for all of his legal troubles, things are a bit more complicated than that – as being pardoned revokes their right to invoke the fifth amendment – and there’s a whole host of state charges that Trump is facing in New York state which he won’t be able to pardon away. Now, a United Nations panel could make Donald Trump’s life post-presidency with the announcement that Trump’s pardons of former Blackwater contractors, convicted of killing civilians in Baghdad, were a violation of international law.
“Pardoning the Blackwater contractors is an affront to justice and to the victims of the Nisour Square massacre and their families,” Jelena Aparac, secretariat of the U.N.Human Rights Council wrote in a statement. The panel agreed that Trump’s pardons violate the Geneva Convention’s call to hold war criminals accountable, a description fitting the contractors who were convicted of killing 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians.
It’s not quite clear what could happen with this, but it’s yet another reason why Trump wants to stay president, so he can avoid being held accountable – and it’s also why it’s not so likely that he’ll try to flee the country to avoid prosecution, since this makes it clear that there won’t be too many other countries where he can live free. There could soon be international pressure to make an example of him.
Even without criminal investigations from the state of New York and elsewhere, Donald Trump is primed to have a miserable post-presidency of isolation, one where he may even see pardons of his presidency be overturned.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making