It was inevitable that Trump would abuse the presidential pardon. His pardoning of former Sheriff Arpaio was merely a trial balloon to see just how far he could go. From the response so far, it appears that, with the exception of a few senators and congresspersons, the Republicans will refuse to act.
The president has unlimited pardoning power, but there is nothing in the Constitution that immunizes him from prosecution for crimes while in office. To maintain the position that he can pardon himself—print his own get-out-of-jail cards, in other words—is to declare him a monarch, who in theory can do no wrong. Our forebears fought a war because they were determined not to be ruled by a monarch.
A constitutional crisis is now upon us. A president without respect for the law or the Constitution has taken a huge step towards a coup. If his henchmen can ignore our statutes, our Constitution, and even common decency, in the knowledge that they will be pardoned for any crime they commit short of treason, the republic will cease to exist.
Surely, our legislators comprehend the danger poised by this clever but vicious clown. If they do not take action quickly—bipartisan action, no less—to impeach and convict Donald Trump, tomorrow they may find to their sorrow that they lack the power to act at all.