Trump: I can pardon myself

By Joe Kovacs

Rudy Giuliani on ABC's "This Week," June 3, 2018 (Video screenshot)
Rudy Giuliani on ABC’s “This Week,” June 3, 2018 (Video screenshot)

Does President Trump have the power to pardon himself?

According to Trump, he has the “absolute right” to do just that.

“As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” Trump said in a Twitter post on Monday.

Radio’s Rush Limbaugh agreed on Monday, noting: “The Constitution clearly says so. … It’s not a big deal.”

Trump’s lead attorney, Rudy Giuliani, says the commander in chief “probably does” have the legal ability to take such an action.

The topic came up Sunday as Giuliani spoke with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” as the pair discussed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of possible collusion between Trump and Russia to impact the 2016 presidential race.

Stephanopoulos asked Giuliani if the president has the power to pardon himself, the former mayor of New York City responded that he “probably does.”

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“He has no intention of pardoning himself,” said Giuliani, noting it’s a “really interesting constitutional argument: ‘Can the president pardon himself?'”

Giuliani added, “I think the political ramifications of that would be tough. Pardoning other people is one thing. Pardoning yourself is another. 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.”


“The real question was what the heck was Rudy Giuliani doing answering the question?” Limbaugh said on Monday.

The matter about pardoning one’s self comes in the wake of a 20-page letter dated Jan. 29 from Trump’s attorneys to Mueller, outlining the legal strategy of the president concerning the Russia investigation.

The letter explained that as president, Trump can neither be indicted nor subpoenaed, and could not be guilty of obstruction of justice due to his position as “chief law enforcement officer.”

The letter, first reported by the New York Times, states: “It remains our position that the President’s actions here, by virtue of his position as the chief law enforcement officer, could neither constitutionally nor legally constitute obstruction because that would amount to him obstructing himself, and that he could if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired.”

Follow Joe Kovacs on Twitter @JoeKovacsNews

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