The Governor Cannot Pardon Trump If He Is Convicted In Georgia

Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) does not have the power or ability to pardon Donald Trump if he is convicted of a crime in Georgia.

Greg Bluestein of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote:

If he wins next year’s election, Trump can’t halt Willis’ investigation, and he can’t rely on a pardon from Gov. Brian Kemp if he’s convicted. That power rests in Georgia’s pardons board, whose secretive process spans years.

Nor can Trump count on Georgia as a bastion of reliable support. Though he leads in recent polls, Republican voters rejected Trump’s picks for many of Georgia’s top offices, and in 2020 he was the first GOP nominee to lose the state in nearly three decades.

Trump’s unpopularity in Georgia has been proven repeatedly. Trump lost the state in the presidential race in 2020. He lost control of the Senate for Republicans by costing them two runoff elections also in 2020, and there was the Trump-backed Herschel Walker disaster of 2022. This list doesn’t include all of the state-level races where Trump-endorsed candidates lost as the former president tried to exact revenge on Republicans like Gov. Kemp by primarying them in 2022.

Because of the way that the pardon process works in Georgia, Trump could not count on political favors to secure himself a pardon if he is convicted, which is important because if the former president is found guilty of a RICO violation, he is facing mandatory jail time. 

If Trump is convicted in Georgia of RICO, it is very likely that he ends up behind bars.

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