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Trump claims 'absolute right' to pardon himself

Trump claims 'absolute right' to pardon himself

Trump made the pardon assertion in a series of Twitter posts on Monday in which he criticised federal Special Counsel Robert Mueller's criminal probe of whether his 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russian Federation to sway the election.

The possibility of Mr Trump pardoning himself appeared to be raised in a January 29 letter from his lawyers to Mr Mueller, published by The New York Times on Saturday (local time), arguing Mr Trump could not have obstructed the probe given the powers granted to him by the constitution.

Trump's comments come after one of his attorneys in the Russian Federation investigation, Rudy Giuliani, said Sunday that Trump "probably does" have the power to pardon himself, but won't.

A January memo from Trump's legal team to Mueller asserted that a president has full power over Justice Department investigations and therefore can not be charged with obstruction of justice.

He continued: "I think that what Rudy has done is a shame and a disgrace as a former USA attorney, and as a former justice official, he knows better, and it's an outright lie".

On Tuesday, the Senate's Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, also discouraged talk of a self-pardon by Trump.

"I have seen no evidence to the contrary of the initial assessment that Chairman Gowdy has made", Ryan said Wednesday. So presidents can pardon federal offenses, but not state ones.

Regardless of what the law says, do you think Trump should be allowed to pardon himself?

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He added that he is still leaning against recommending that Trump do an interview with Mueller, but "we want to keep an open mind" if the special counsel can keep it brief and to a narrow set of topics. Giuliani told ABC's "This Week".

President Donald Trump insists he can pardon himself.

"Pardoning himself would be unthinkable and probably lead to immediate impeachment. If he did, he'd be impeached so fast", Giuliani said.

Trump did not detail his grounds for claiming that the Mueller investigation is illegal. "Despite that, we play the game because I, unlike the Democrats, have done nothing wrong!" he added in a second tweet.

Rudy Giuliani, a member of Trump's legal team, then defended this claim in an interview with The Huffington Post.

President Donald Trump looks on during a Change of Command ceremony as Admiral Karl Schultz takes over from Admiral Paul Zukunft as the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington June 1.

Clinton's counsel, Charles Ruff, was even explicitly asked to give an assurance that "Clinton will not pardon himself or that he will not accept a pardon from any presidential successor".


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