Trump can also threaten the nation by dismantling domestic protections against executive malfeasance. He may preemptively try to issue blanket pardons for himself and his family. While there is little constitutional law governing presidential pardons, there is precedent. In 1974, President Gerald Ford issued a pardon for his predecessor, Richard Nixon, “for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed.” Ford issued this pardon even though Nixon had not yet been charged with a federal crime.

Trump and his allies will likely continue to disregard the law. For example, members of the Trump administration have repeatedly violated the Hatch Act, which forbids federal employees from using federal resources for political aims. Trump has also ignored the Presidential Records Act, which requires the president to preserve executive branch records and members of his administration have previously taped together torn-up documents in an attempt to preserve them.