President Donald Trump asserted Monday that the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller is unconstitutional and insisted that he has "the absolute right" to pardon himself, a declaration that follows the publication of a letter from the president's legal team making the same assertion.
Trump cited "numerous legal scholars" in claiming the power to pardon himself, but there does not appear to be consensus on that point.
'The basic argument on the side that says he can do it is, look at the Constitution and it doesn't say he can't. Trump openly claims that he, as president, can and does whatever he wants without having to answer to anyone in the short term.
Long-standing Justice Department rules have concluded that a sitting president can not be indicted for criminal wrongdoing.
So far, established constitutional limits on the president's pardon power prevent it from affecting impeachment proceedings and from being applicable to crimes at the state level.
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Trump also complained about Mueller's indictment of Paul Manafort, for three months his campaign manager in mid-2016, who was charged with criminal offenses linked to his lobbying efforts for Ukraine that predated his involvement with the Trump operations.
An attorney for President Donald Trump is playing down the possibility that Trump would try to - if it came to that. We had Repeal & Replace done (and the saving to our country of one trillion dollars) except for one person, but it is getting done anyway.
"It could lead to impeachment", Giuliani said, referring to the idea of Trump pardoning himself.
The letter goes on to say that if the president did order the termination of an investigation, even though he contends he did not, "this could not constitute obstruction of justice". "Despite that, we play the game because I, unlike the Democrats, have done nothing wrong!" he added on Twitter.
Mr Giuliani - a former New York City mayor - also said the president had not yet decided whether to sit for an interview with Mr Mueller, but that his legal team were leaning towards advising him not to. It again makes the case that Trump did not order the closure of the investigation but a president can close an investigation if he so chooses.
"Most legal scholars think that he can't pardon himself", University of Richmond School of Law professor Carl Tobias told the Daily News. Turley said, though, that because an obstruction case hinges on intent, Trump might have a hard time convincing a judge that investigators could get that information without talking to him.