“I can’t imagine the founders in providing for pardon power for a president anticipated that presidents would use it to reward political friends, and as a result I would hope that we could develop a tradition of more narrowly providing pardons,” Romney said on Wednesday, according to The Hill.
He urged the tradition of presidential pardons to be used by “not providing them to people who are cronies or political individuals.”
The Utah senator made a call for reforming presidential pardon power, as he said he “would love to see a constitutional remedy.”
He, however, admitted it is “unlikely that something like that can get passed just given the difficult process of passing a constitutional amendment.”
Early Wednesday, Trump issued over 100 pardons and commutations. He pardoned former White House aide Steve Bannon, in which the White House said in a statement, “Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen.” Rapper Lil Wayne was also granted a pardon.
Trump did not pardon himself or his family, and, according to some experts, if he had it would have increased calls to prosecute him on a state level.
Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said, “With a pardon comes at least the veneer of an admission of guilty. In a way, I think pardoning himself and his family is almost like a taunt. It would have said ‘try to come and get me,’ and would have accelerated litigation and investigation.”