There are ways in which trump could seek to scorch Earth before he either leaves or is removed from the White House. We can forget about the obvious. As partial payment for all those loans extended, when others refused, Putin got access to whatever secrets we had.
Another possibility implies riots in the streets. Chaos can be scary - or scarier than what we have seen. If trump virtually opens the doors of Federal prisons, according to 2016 figures, possibly 225,000 people would be released.
Art. II, § 2of The Constitution provides, in relevant part: “The President ... shall have Power to grant ... Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” That means Federal crimes, not State.
Pardon: “act or an instance of officially nullifying punishment or other legal consequences of a crime.” Black’s Law Dictionary, 10th ed., 2014, p. 1286. If trump were to pardon every person incarcerated in Federal prison, some bad people would be released.
However, as bad of a person as trump is - seriously, he should be IN a Federal prison - he could, despite his best efforts, do something positive. About 76,700 of those people are incarcerated for drug offenses. In 1980 only 4,749 people were so incarcerated. Statistica, 10/07/20.
Other people in those facilities are there as a result of the systemic racism of our American system of justice. The “chaos” that we might face is - a lack of chaos on any scale people might imagine. With five percent (5%) of the World’s people we have 25% of prison inmates.
Maybe trump pardons everyone in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Paperwork takes time. Maybe justice really would be served. As the people pardoned walk out, trump is escorted in and processed. Then again, he’d have the place to himself.