Giuliani Says Trump Could End Russia Probe, Pardon Himself

04 June, 2018, 13:28 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Trump Lawyers: A President Cannot Obstruct Justice

When asked on ABC's This Week whether Trump has the power to pardon himself for a crime - whether collusion, obstruction of justice, or something else - Giuliani said, "He's not, but he probably does". It's a hypothetical point, " Giuliani said.

The letter, signed by lawyers John Dowd and Jay Sekulow, was part of a bid to keep Trump from having to sit for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller, especially on questions about whether he obstructed justice. The existence of the letter was first reported by The New York Times. "If the president were to pardon himself, he'll get impeached".

He has requested an interview with the president over obstruction of justice.

Giuliani previously said that the U.S. Constitution gives Trump the ability to bestow a pardon on himself, but said he doesn't have any intention of using that power.

"Pardoning himself would be unthinkable and probably lead to immediate impeachment", Giuliani told NBC's "Meet the Press".

"A president could not be prosecuted for murder?"

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The liberal Democrat also said: "Whether or not there is an argument that is not what the framers could have intended". Under that theory, the only check on that power is impeachment.

The letter states that the president's comments in an NBC interview have been "widely misreported and mischaracterized" to give the impression that he was thinking of Russian Federation when he fired Comey. It begins with Trump's on-camera statement to Lester Holt that "when I made a decision to just do it" and fire Comey, "I said to myself. you know this Russian Federation thing with Trump is a made-up story". Instead, he mostly made the president sound very guilty.

"Nevertheless, the President's strong desire for transparency indicated the need to obtain an honest and complete factual report from the Special Counsel, which would sustain and even benefit the Office of the President and the national interest throughout his time in office", the letter states. Nixon later resigned to avoid being removed from office by the Senate in an impeachment trial. There is a heightened standard for interviewing a president.

The whole thing could end in a court battle over what can and what cannot be applied to a president. As early as last summer, as Mueller's probe proceeded, the president began quietly asking advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself. They argued the special counsel already has what he needs from the reams of documents he's been provided and from interviews with campaign and White House staff.

In a column on Sunday morning, Vox's Matthew Yglesias characterized the memo from Trump's legal team as "a recipe for tyranny" and a "clear and present danger to the rule of law".

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the U.S. Coast Guard Change-of-Command ceremony at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2018. "It would mean that even pardoning someone in return for a bribe is just fine".


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