Defiant Trump insists he can pardon himself

Defiant Trump insists he can pardon himself

Defiant Trump insists he can pardon himself

The tweet comes amid growing concern among Trump's legal team over possible charges stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's contacts with Russian Federation and the president's possible obstruction of justice.

In several Monday morning tweets, Trump reasserted his lawyer's claims and continued to take aim at the investigation, calling it a "witch hunt" and "unconstitutional". "Pardoning yourself is another", Giuliani told ABC's "This Week".

The former USA attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, said that if Trump pardoned himself, it would be a "self-executing impeachment".

It's the first time Trump has suggested pardoning himself, though he did tweet a year ago that "all agree the U.S. President has the complete power to pardon".

"The appointment of the special counsel is totally unconstitutional", he tweeted. "That's another really interesting constitutional question: Can the president pardon himself?" he added. While Trump did have the authority to fire former FBI Director James Comey, the question becomes whether he had corrupt intent in doing so - the issue at the center of Mueller's obstruction investigation.

"He has no intention of pardoning himself, but he probably does [have the power to]", Giuliani said on ABC's "This Week".

But she also brushed off queries on why Trump would suggest he might need a pardon.

Still, a minority of constitutional lawyers believe the USA presidency does have powers to protect itself, including shutting down investigations and rejecting subpoenas.

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Giuliani said the president's legal team would contest an attempt by Mueller to compel Trump to testify in front of a grand jury.

The 20-page letter from Trump's lawyers to Mueller in January came in response to repeated requests by the special counsel's office asking to interview Trump, according to the Times.

"Pardoning himself would be unthinkable and probably lead to immediate impeachment".

"Were the President to shoot someone, he would be chargeable with the crime of murder under state law, and possibly federal law depending on who was shot", CNN legal analyst Michael Zeldin, a former assistant to Mueller, told CNN.

Mr Giuliani said the President can not be indicted or subpoenaed and has the power to pardon himself, leaving impeachment by the US Congress likely the remedy for presidential misconduct. "Let me remind you of something, we don't live in a monarchy and you are not a king".

Last month, lawyers representing Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, challenged Mueller's authority to investigate him in relation to allegations of fraud and improper lobbying predating the 2016 campaign.

Mr. Trump's legal team has long pushed the special counsel to narrow the scope of its interview.

"This understanding of presidential power is radical and absolutist", he said.

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