I am not a lawyer. Nor do I play one on TV. But I follow Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe on Twitter and I have read the papers he cited that challenge the assertion that a president can pardon himself. After reading those papers I am convinced that any pardon Donald Trump grants to himself will also fail. I further contend--and this will be controversial--that any pardon he grants to anyone who has helped him become President through an illegal conspiracy will fail.
The Role Of The Electoral College As Envisioned By The Founding Fathers
cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union? (emphasis added)
In other words, the Founding Fathers established the Electoral College for the express purpose of ensuring, among other things, that the President wouldn't be a puppet of a foreign government (like say, Russia). Clearly, the Founding Fathers wanted the Electors to be free to follow their consciences and vote against those who posed a threat to our national survival. Unfortunately, thirty states have, in effect, said "screw you" to the Founding Fathers by enacting laws that attempt to force electors to vote for the candidate that won the states' election.