President Trump has the "absolute" power to pardon himself, he argued on Monday morning, then asked rhetorically why he would use it because he hasn't done anything wrong. "It's because they were unthinkable", said Savannah Law School professor Andrew Wright, who served in the White House counsel's office under President Barack Obama.
President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani says Trump's legal team and press secretary simply "got it wrong" when they said the president had nothing to do with drafting a statement for his son about a meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential election.
Trump has repeatedly denied collusion while Russian Federation has denied any interference in the election. "So that's what I can tell you because that's what we know".
The 20-page letter, written before Giuliani joined Trump's legal team by two of the president's lawyers at the time and first reported by the New York Times, was hand delivered to Mueller's office, and also argues that the president can not be compelled to testify.
Trump's legal team has long pushed the special counsel to narrow the scope of its interview. The letter states the president "could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired".
"I don't even want to get into that", said Sen.
He also called the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential polls "unconstitutional".
A 1974 opinion from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Opinion maintains that presidents can not pardon themselves "under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case", though that question has never been tested before the country's highest court.
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"The Massachusetts language adds support to the position that the pardoning power in the U.S. Constitution is very broad, since the founders had this more limited language in front of them but instead drafted a broader provision", Davis says.
But he said doing so would have "tough" political ramifications. The president has charted new ground in issuing pardons outside of the traditional vetting process, including one last month for the late boxer Jack Johnson.
Every day the wild revelations become more jaw-dropping, numbing us as the president declares himself above the law, and Congress fails to tell him he isn't.
Over the weekend, The New York Times reportedthat the president's lawyers have made these claims officially in memos to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. "Pardoning other people is one thing; pardoning yourself is another", Giuliani told ABC's "This Week".
Critics say Trump has undermined the rule of law with pardons based on political considerations.
"Trump has re-asserted American leadership on the world stage, secured vital investments in our military, and stood up against threats to our national security".
Trump doesn't just believe that as president he has unlimited power to do as he pleases in his own country. Last week he pardoned Dinesh D'Souza, a conservative pundit convicted of campaign finance crimes, and previous year he pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who campaigned for Trump before being convicted in a case regarding racial profiling.
Trump has begun a practice of pardoning others: Last week he pardoned conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza; before that, former Vice President Dick Cheney's adviser Scooter Libby, Maricopa County, Aiz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio and others. Put simply, the Constitution leaves no question that the President has exclusive authority over the ultimate conduct and disposition of all criminal investigations and over those executive branch officials responsible for conducting those investigations.