You have to love it when seemingly unrelated news stories start to come together in some sort of cosmic waltz. Last week we had the President of the Unites States commute the prison sentence of a former staffer who potentially has information about illegal activity in the White House. This week we have the President ordering other staffers to ignore congressional subpoenas related to an investigation into other possible crimes in the Executive branch. Refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena can result in contempt of congress charges, which can result in a jail sentence of up to one year. That is, unless the President commutes your sentence.
So I am wondering—and hoping some legal scholar will address—is there ANY recourse for Congress or the courts if the President commutes the sentence or pardons anyone convicted of contempt of congress? Since the president's pardoning power is beyond reproach, could he not simply pardon anyone who might otherwise be compelled to testify on wrongdoing within his administration? Does that then put him above the law?