Nowadays, pardons are often seen as a way to help old colleagues and family members.

But according to Swedish Radio Ekot's foreign editor Anders Ask, the idea of ​​the president's opportunity to trump the legal system was different when it was written into the constitution in the 18th century.

- From the beginning, pardons in the United States were a tool to reduce tensions and divisions in the country, for example, Andrew Johnson pardoned all soldiers on the losing southern side after the American Civil War.

Could it be used like that today?

- The clearest example would be if Donald Trump is convicted of something and Joe Biden decides to pardon Trump.

That is, as a way of trying to calm the polarization that now exists in the United States, says Anders Ask.

"Trump pardons people he has ties to"

How presidents choose to use their pardons is very different.

Barack Obama chose to pardon nearly 2,000 people during his eight years in power.

Donald Trump's figure is significantly lower.

- Obama pardoned very many, but it was largely people who were imprisoned for possession of drugs.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, has often pardoned people with whom he himself has connections.

For example, people who were involved in the Russia investigation, says US expert Andreas Utterström.

Hear the full explanation of the point of pardons and how they are used in the player.