If a president declares a national emergency, how long can the emergency legally remain in effect? If a new president attempts to pardon a former president for criminal offenses that his predecessor conducted while in office, what happens? President Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace after being implicated in a vast array of alleged criminal activities. Vice President Gerald Ford immediately became president and pardoned him for any criminal actions that Nixon may have committed, sparing Nixon from indictment. How many executive orders can a president sign during a term in office?