Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

President Trump has pardoned former sheriff Joe Arpaio, noting his record of public service and calling him a "worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon."

Why it matters:

Granting pardons has historically been an unpopular move — it derailed Gerald Ford's reelection bid in 1976 — and it often opens the door for a president's motives to be called into question. But President Trump has spoken openly, and early on, about his power to grant pardons, seemingly without concern for whether it will damage his reputation. Last month, he reportedly asked his legal team whether he could pardon aides, family members, and even himself if implicated in Special Counsel Bob Mueller's Russian investigation; and now he's issued his first pardon, just 7 months into his presidency.

The facts:
  • A president's pardoning power is outlined in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, which states, "The President... shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment."
  • In other words, President Trump has the authority to pardon anyone (except in an impeachment conviction), whether or not they have already been charged with a crime; and that power is absolute, extending to his family and members of his administration.
  • One misconception: Presidents can only grant clemency in crimes committed against the federal government, not those in violation of a state law. Some people have questioned whether Trump pardoning Arpaio is outside the scope of his authority, as he was charged with contempt of court in Arizona. However, the judge handling the case was a federal judge in Arizona, so the pardon stands.
  • Can Trump pardon himself? The answer to this question is a bit more complicated, as there's no court precedent for a president pardoning himself. Days before Nixon resigned, the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel wrote that a president couldn't pardon himself. But the issue never arose, as his successor, Gerald Ford, granted him clemency before any action was taken. Additionally, Brian C. Kalt, a law professor at Michigan State Univesrity, told CNN that such a move could pave the way for impeachment.
Past presidential pardons:
  • Pardongate: On Bill Clinton's last day in office in January 2001, he issued 140 pardons as well as several commutations. One of those pardons was granted to his own brother, who had served a one-year jail sentence on a drug conviction. Other famous Clinton pardons include businessman Marc Rich, former Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros, and whitewater participant Susan McDougal.
  • Richard Nixon: Nixon was granted a pardon by Gerald Ford in September 1974 for any crimes he might have committed during the Watergate scandal. Ford issued the pardon even though Nixon wasn't charged with or convicted of federal crimes.
  • George W. Bush: W. Bush commuted the sentence of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby in 2007, his Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, who was found guilty of four felonies for lying about his involvement in the leak of a covert CIA agent's identity.
  • George H.W. Bush: In late 1992, H. W. Bush pardoned six men implicated in the Iran-contra affair, including former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger.

Go deeper

Former Blizzard CEO says he "failed” women at the studio

Image: Neville Elder / Getty Images

Mike Morhaime, who co-founded and worked at video game studio Blizzard for 28 years, has apologized publicly for toxic work conditions at his former studio, which is now the subject of a discrimination and harassment lawsuit by the state of California.

Why it matters: Morhaime is no longer at Blizzard, but was its leader for most of its existence and therefore was in charge when much of what is alleged in California’s suit would have occurred.

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

🚨: Heat wave brings scorching temperatures to Tokyo Olympics

📺: The Olympic events to watch today

🤸🏾‍: Athlete spotlight — When to watch Simone Biles, the G.O.A.T

🇺🇸: Jill Biden cheers on Team USA at Tokyo Olympics

🥇: The post-Phelps Games

👻: Behind the scenes at the COVID Olympics

💉 Exclusive poll: America's divided over the COVID Olympics

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

2 hours ago - Sports

NFL to fine unvaccinated players $14K for violating COVID-19 protocols

Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs wears a facemask while preparing for the start of Super Bowl LV. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The NFL will fine unvaccinated players $14,650 if they violate COVID-19 protocols this season, ESPN reports.

The big picture: The rule change comes two days after the NFL announced that postponed games due to coronavirus outbreaks among unvaccinated players or staffers will not be rescheduled and teams responsible for delays will automatically forfeit.