President Donald Trump boasted about his “absolute right” to pardon himself in the Russia probe on Monday one day after Rudy Giuliani, one of his lawyers, raised the prospect.
“Numerous legal scholars” have pointed out that Trump holds the constitutional authority to a self-pardon, he tweeted. “But why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” He also lambasted the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller as unconstitutional.
His comments echoed Giuliani’s, who said Sunday that a self-pardon was out of the cards and could lead to impeachment — but Trump could do it if he wanted to.
“He has no intention of pardoning himself, but he probably — not to say he can’t,” Giuliani told ABC’s “This Week.”
It’s the first time Trump has suggested pardoning himself, though he did tweet last year that “all agree the U.S. President has the complete power to pardon.”
His legal team first pushed the notion of a self-pardon in a 20-page letter that they sent to Mueller in January, stating that Trump “could if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired.”
Trump and his legal advisers continue to advocate for an end to the investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election. Asked if Trump has decided whether he will voluntarily be interviewed by Mueller, Giuliani said the answer is most likely no.
“But look, if they can convince us that it will be brief, it would be to the point, there were five or six points they have to clarify, and with that, we can get this — this long nightmare for the ― for the American public over,” Giuliani told ABC.