Updated Jul 10, 2018 - Politics & Policy

How Trump's pardons stack up to his predecessors

President Trump increased his total number of pardons to seven on Tuesday by granting clemency to two Oregon cattle ranchers, Dwight Lincoln Hammond and his son, Steven Hammond, who were imprisoned for setting fire to federal land.

Data: Department of Justice; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

The big picture: While he still lags far behind many of his predecessors in overall pardons, Trump is the first president since George H.W. Bush to grant a pardon within the first two years of his presidency. H. W.'s pardons in his first year were all related to the Iran-Contra affair.

  • Last month, a White House official told the Washington Post that Trump was "obsessed" with pardons, calling them the president’s new "favorite thing" to talk about.

The details:

Why it matters: Trump has gone so far as to say that he had the "absolute right" to pardon himself — something legal experts debate. Many critics are worried Trump will ultimately use his pardon power in conjunction with the Mueller investigation.

  • Yes, but: Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has said that he's advised Trump not to issue any pardons during the Mueller investigation, but noted that "when it's over," Trump can do as he pleases.

Go deeper: "The Pardon Game": Trump's Celebrity Edition.

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