Trump asserts 'absolute right to PARDON' himself in Russian Federation probe
- Celia Watts
In a Washington Post op-ed they write: "The Constitution specifically bars the president from using the pardon power to prevent his own impeachment and removal" and "that provision would make no sense if the president could pardon himself".
Giuliani repeatedly cited a 2000 memo from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel following President Bill Clinton's scandal, saying that while the Constitution does not give the president immunity from prosecution, the president can not be indicted.
"Let me remind you of something, we don't live in a monarchy and you are not a king", Deutch added.
Even if it is granted that Trump possesses the authority to do so, pardoning himself would not protect him from impeachment, and could even be cited as cause in articles of impeachment.
A leading Republican lawmaker, Congressman Trey Gowdy, said last week the Federal Bureau of Investigation did nothing wrong, but Giuliani said he has "tremendous suspicion" that the operation was meant to spy on the Trump campaign. "Even the pope does not pardon himself".
Although Giuliani said a decision about whether the president will voluntarily sit for an interview with Mueller's team would not be made until after a planned June 12 summit in Singapore between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, he said "we're leaning toward not" doing it.
Trump argues that he could pardon himself but that it won't be necessary. Mueller is a registered Republican but Trump has nonetheless complained that his office is stacked with Democrats whose work amounts to a political "witch hunt".
But that is far from settled.
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"He tells America instantly ... how he feels about this investigation".
Monmouth University poll, April 26-30.
President Trump sought to settle the widespread weekend chatter over whether he'd consider pardoning himself if charged in the Russian Federation probe - tweeting Monday that he has the "absolute right" to do so, but wouldn't have to since he's "done nothing wrong".
But all this begs a question: World leaders juggle exacting responsibilities at a frenetic pace (sometime across time zones), so does the U.S. president - who some think of as "the leader of the free word" - really have the time to type out everything that appears on his timeline?
'Pardoning other people is one thing.
Last week, he pardoned a conservative activist who had pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations, and Trump has floated pardoning other celebrities for crimes similar to what some of his former aides and personal lawyer are alleged to have committed.
The memo also says that, "under our system of government, the president is not readily available to be interviewed".
Talk of a potential pardon comes after The New York Times published a 20-page letter to Mueller by Trump attorney Jay Sekulow and then-Trump lawyer John Dowd. They can define those terms however they wish.
Andrew Wright, a former associate counsel in the Obama White House, said allowing the president to pardon himself would be contrary to fundamental principles of the American legal system. "If he were facing impeachment, it would increase his chances of being removed from office".
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