Donald Trump claims he has ‘absolute right to pardon myself’


Donald Trump on Monday said that he has an “absolute right to pardon myself”, adding “but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” in his latest broadside against the Russia investigation. The US president’s remarks came in tweets in which he said his right to pardon had been “stated by numerous legal scholars”. Last year Trump had said that he has the “complete power to pardon”.

On Monday Trump was renewing his attacks on the special counsel investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 election and allegations of collusion with the Trump campaign. Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, in television interviews on Sunday, suggested Trump might have that authority to pardon himself but would be unwise to use it.  Giuliani told NBC’s Meet the Press: “Pardoning himself would be unthinkable and probably lead to immediate impeachment.” He added: “He has no need to do it, he’s done nothing wrong.”

Giuliani said he would be “willing to sit down with Mueller and argue it out if he has an open mind to it”. The former New York Mayor and mob prosecutor has taken a leading role in defending Trump, sometimes with conflicting statements that get information out there but also making it appear accidental or disinformation.

On Thursday, Trump said that he is considering pardoning Martha Stewart, the home decorating mogul who served five months in prison for obstructing justice and similar charges as part of a 2004 insider trading investigation, and the former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.(theguardian)…[+]