President Donald Trump asserted his presidential power and escalated his efforts to discredit the special counsel Russian Federation probe Monday, declaring he has the "absolute right" to pardon himself and attacking the investigation as "totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!"
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he's not sure whether President Donald Trump has the power to pardon himself, but says Trump "obviously knows that would not be something that he would or should do".
He raised eyebrows on Monday when he stated his belief that he had the "absolute right" to pardon himself, but said he wouldn't do so because he had "done nothing wrong".
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.
Trump's legal team is making clear that it will combat any effort to force the president to testify in front of a grand jury.
In a letter to Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the Russian Federation meddling, the president's lawyers argued in January that Trump "could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired".
Though the White House has said the president is considering a long list of pardons, many of them provided to him by the Department of Justice, an undercurrent of celebrity runs through many of his recent choices and considerations.
Yet the former New York City mayor, who was not on the legal team when the letter was written, added that Trump "probably does" have the power to pardon himself, an assertion challenged by legal scholars.
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Sanders says, "Thankfully the president hasn't done anything wrong and therefore wouldn't need one". "No matter what it is", Giuliani told HuffPost over the weekend.
The administration has prepared the pardoning paperwork for at least 30 people, the sources tell CNN.
Addressing a business conference, Giuliani, now Trump's lawyer, also boasted that the president had brought North Korea's leader to his "hands and knees" after canceling a high-profile summit. Mueller has requested an interview with the president to determine whether he had criminal intent to obstruct the investigation into his associates' possible links to Russia's election interference.
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.
"That is no [questioning] under oath, only a Q&A, and then we get the questions in advance, and they write the report two weeks before", Giuliani said. "I am even more convinced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump".
Trump has not followed the typical procedure for granting pardons, often choosing instead to bypass the Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney while wielding his constitutional power.
"I would not go that far", he said. And one of the articles of impeachment prepared against President Richard Nixon in 1974 was for obstruction.