Trump 'could pardon himself over Russian Federation but won't', says Giuliani

Geraldine Edwards
June 4, 2018

Giuliani, who joined Trump's legal team just last month amid growing problems with attorney Michael Cohen, told ABC News' "This Week" Sunday morning that the president "probably" has the legal power to pardon himself if and when Mueller's investigation moves ahead with any indictments or legal issues.

While campaigning, President Trump famously said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and not lose any of his supporters, and his words were echoed Sunday by Rudy Giuliani, who told HuffPost if Trump had shot former FBI Director James Comey in order to end the Russian Federation investigation, he wouldn't have been prosecuted.

Trump has long said he wants to answer questions from special counsel Robert Mueller, but on Sunday Giuliani told ABC News, "It's beginning to get resolved" to not permitting the USA leader to sit for questioning.

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When pushed, however, Giuliani said he generally agrees that the president has stunningly broad powers - even if using them would be political suicide. The attorneys then present the relevant interview transcript in its entirety to show that Trump knew that the Russian Federation investigation would likely be protracted if he fired Comey, but that he had "to do the right thing for the American people". "Pardoning other people is one thing". "That's another really interesting constitutional question: Can the president pardon himself?" he added. If Mueller can not take either of those actions, then there is no need to put the president under oath to answer his questions.

Mr Guiliani was speaking less than 24 hours after the publication of a secret 20 page memo sent from Mr Trump's legal team to the Mueller investigation. OLC is the Office of Legal Counsel, the elite legal analysis team for the attorney general and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and through the attorney general, to the president and every department of the US government.

Trump's team has asked for a briefing about the informant, but Giuliani said Sunday that the president would not order the Justice Department to comply because it would negatively affect public opinion. Mr Trump has previously said he might be willing to attend but his lawyers appear opposed, fearing it could lead to charges of perjury.

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"He has no intention of pardoning himself", Giuliani said. Today, Trump can keep sending his lawyers out to make the most extreme political case-a president can't commit obstruction, for example-while he gives speeches about peace overseas and prosperity at home. "If the president were to pardon himself, he'll get impeached".

Rudy Giuliani also spoke at length explaining the amount of authority the justice department holds over President Trump as compared to Congress.

"For me, it is hard to believe that any Supreme Court justice would endorse the right of a president to be lawless, in the sense of being entirely above the application of law", Frenkel said. "I think the legally correct answer is, as usual, the opposite of Giuliani's answer". "Should have told me!" Trump fired him past year.

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