Trump: I Can Pardon Myself, But Won’t


“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?” President Donald Trump tweeted from Camp David on June 4. “In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!”

The presidential morning tweets that stirred quite a storm in the US political life are in fact the continuation of the issues with the hiring of Paul Manafort, the Mueller investigation, and the FBI and Department of Justice, and against the back ground of the recent CNN report of the dwindling presidential ratings.

Previously on the weekend, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani stated that Trump, in his opinion, can pardon himself while president. “Impeach him, and then you can do whatever you want to do to him,” Julian said on ABC’s Sunday Beltway show.

Trump has that power to pardon himself, Giuliani said, but has “no intention of pardoning himself.” He admitted “the political ramifications of that would be tough.”

Giuliani’s remarks were in response to media reports that the White House legal team sent a letter to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller in late January outlining a legal justification that as president, Trump cannot be held accountable for obstruction of justice and should not be interviewed by investigators.

“Legal scholars”, meanwhile, are not so sure about the strength of position of Trump and his team. Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University Law School, for example, told WP that the question of whether a president can self-pardon has long been a “parlor game” among constitutional scholars. There’s no precedent for it and thus no case law, Turley said. A president can pardon himself but that would not protect a president from impeachment

“A president cannot pardon out of an impeachment,” Turley said. Congress, he said, “can use his pardon as an abuse of his office.”

Ethan Leib, a professor at Fordham Law School, said he believes a president can’t self-pardon because that violates the oath of office — in which the president swears to “faithfully execute” his duties — and the stipulation in Article II of the Constitution that the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

“The Constitution is clearly prohibiting the president from engaging in self-dealing,” Leib said.

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