Giuliani calls it 'unthinkable' that Trump would pardon himself

Geraldine Edwards
June 5, 2018

It's not clear what the full context of the statement was, because it refers, among other things, to a January 8 conversation between Trump's lawyers and the Mueller team.

"This is from a letter from outside counsel, and I would refer you to them to answer that question", she said.

Trump's claim that he has the power to pardon himself follows arguments made by Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's lawyers, who said Sunday that should Trump choose to issue a self-pardon, it "would just be unthinkable and it would lead to, probably, an immediate impeachment".

Russian Federation has denied USA intelligence agencies' assessment that Moscow sought to interfere with the 2016 US election to boost Trump's prospects of becoming president. "Despite that, we play the game because I, unlike the Democrats, have done nothing wrong!" His assertion, Trump wrote, was based on the opinions of numerous legal scholars.

Indeed, the President not only has unfettered statutory and Constitutional authority to terminate the FBI Director, he also has Constitutional authority to direct the Justice Department to open or close an investigation, and, of course, the power to pardon any person before, during, or after an investigation and/or conviction. He adds: "I have no idea how they got it wrong, but they got it wrong".

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But since the Constitution does not explicitly rule out self-pardons and no president has ever claimed such a power, should President Trump try to pardon himself, the United States legal and political system would be in unchartered territory. "Other presidents have pardoned people in circumstances like this, both in their administration and sometimes the next president, even of a different party will come along and pardon", Giuliani told ABC news.

"This understanding of presidential power is radical and absolutist", he said. Besides, Giuliani, adds, Trump has done nothing wrong and has no need to consider pardoning himself.

The talk of self-pardoning has raised eyebrows amid the roiling debate over the Russian Federation meddling inquiry and the president's cooperation - or lack of it. Trump has issued a series of ever-sharper tweets attacking the Mueller probe as politically motivated and insisting there was "no collusion" between his campaign team and Russian Federation.

CNN's Chris Cuomo asked Giuliani why he thought Trump's attorney, Jay Sekulow, and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders "chose to lie" about the president's involvement in crafting the statement about the meeting at Trump Tower.

Sanders was then asked whether the president believes he is above the law.

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Why did Trump claim self-pardon power, if he does not want to use it?

Does the nation's commander in chief have the power to pardon himself?

"We couldn't have a better example than North Korea", said Giuliani. "If four of them are completely innocent and one of them is your assumption that it's a guilty motive, which (Trump) would deny, you can't possibly prosecute him".

The second-ranking Republican in the Senate, John Cornyn of Texas, dismissed questions about Trump pardoning himself as "an academic argument". "As only one of two people left who could become President, why wouldn't the Federal Bureau of Investigation or Department of "Justice" have told me that they were secretly investigating Paul Manafort (on charges that were 10 years old and had been previously dropped) during my campaign?" Trump also said he was considering pardoning lifestyle maven Martha Stewart and commuting the prison sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, convicted of corruption charges.

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