"Can the president pardon someone who hasn't been convicted of a crime?"
I love this question. I get it frequently. So, let's see what the article has to say.
"Is the acceptance of a pardon an acknowledgement of guilt?"
And the answer is...
"In the Burdick case, the court said a pardon "carries an imputation of guilt and acceptance of a confession of it."
"But it's mostly a rhetorical question, and certainly presidents have granted pardons on the premise that the recipient was actually innocent of the crime they were convicted of."