Trump 'could pardon himself over Russian Federation but won't', says Giuliani

Posted June 04, 2018

Trump's lawyers said, in the letter published by The New York Times, that he also has the power to pardon himself.

In a new interview with NBC News' Meet the Press with host Chuck Todd, Giuliani discussed the outcome of President Trump ending Mueller's investigation.

When asked on ABC's This Week whether Trump has the power to pardon himself for a crime - whether collusion, obstruction of justice, or something else - Giuliani said, "He's not, but he probably does".

"It would be an open question".

"I think the political ramifications would be tough", Giuliani told ABC's This Week. Trump's team wrote to Mueller in January making the case that the president can not commit obstruction of justice under Mueller's probe because of his role as president having constitutional authority over all federal investigations. "I think if the president decided he was going to pardon himself, I think it is nearly self-executing impeachment", Bharara said. Trump himself previously said he "would like to" submit himself for questioning, but has used Twitter to repeatedly berate the Mueller probe. He also charged the investigative team to "man up" and decide whether or not to subpoena the president.

The letter did not explicitly describe the possibility of Trump pardoning himself.

The president expressed dismay that, when still a candidate, he wasn't told that authorities were probing Paul Manafort, who was hired as Trump's campaign chairman. Giuliani said last week that the special counsel probe may be an "entirely illegitimate investigation" and need to be curtailed because, in his estimation, it was based on inappropriately obtained information from an informant and Comey's memos.

Giuliani added that it is a "a really interesting constitutional argument".

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Preet Bharara. U.S. Attorney for Southern District of NY.

In this May 5, 2018, file photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks at the Iran Freedom Convention for Human Rights and democracy in Washington.

In an earlier tweet, Trump took what appeared to be a pre-emptive swipe at the Times report shortly before it ran that questioned whether Mueller's office or the Justice Department leaked letters from his lawyers.

Giuliani, a former New York City mayor, said Trump's legal team might allow an interview if it is "brief, to the point", but are "leaning to not".

Trump's legal team has long pushed the special counsel to narrow the scope of its interview. I don't know where the President would go forward pardoning himself. This fact is coupled with a legal protection that makes the president not readily available to be interviewed unless the information can not be obtained by any other means. They have to make a decision without him.

Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump in November 2016.

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. "I'm not billing by the hour, otherwise I could tell you exactly", he joked about the case he has taken on for free.