Anti-Federalist Paper No. 67, Cato, 1787:
It is, therefore, obvious to the least intelligent mind to account why great power in the hands of a magistrate [i.e., a single executive], and that power connected with considerable duration, may be dangerous to the liberties of a republic. . . . [T]he unrestrained power of granting pardons for treason, which may be used to screen from punishment those whom he had secretly instigated to commit the crime, and thereby prevent a discovery of his own guilt; his duration in office for four years-these, and various other principles evidently prove the truth of the position, that if the president is possessed of ambition, he has power and time sufficient to ruin his country.
Though the president, during the sitting of the legislature, is assisted by the senate, yet he is without a constitutional council in their recess. He will therefore be unsupported by proper information and advice, and will generally be directed by minions and favorites, or a council of state will grow out of the principal officers of the great departments, the most dangerous council in a free country.