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People Think They Know Why Donald Trump Is Choosing the People He Wants to Pardon, and Suddenly It All Makes Sense
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures toward journalists shouting questions as he departs the White House May 29, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In the United States, the pardon power for federal crimes is granted to the president by the Constitution. It states the president "shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment".

So far, President Donald Trump has pardoned five people. By comparison, President Barack Obama pardoned 212 people in his 8 years in office. President George W. Bush similarly pardoned 200. But most of the prior two presidents' pardons went to relative unknowns.

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