Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Trump can probably pardon himself, but has no plan to -Giuliani

Trump can probably pardon himself, but has no plan to -Giuliani

In the letter, President Trump's attorneys noted the "unprecedented access and voluntary cooperation in the collection of all documents requested from the White House, the Donald J. Trump For President Inc., and individual witnesses".

Giuliani told Fox News Thursday that Mueller would have to meet two conditions for an interview to take place: provide access to the "spygate" files as well as the memo penned by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein outlining the scope of Mueller's authority in the special counsel probe.

In multiple letters sent to the special counsel, Trump's legal team has laid out its response to issues it thought the special counsel was examining in 2017 and 2018, CNN has reported. The never-before-seen memo makes a broad case for the executive autonomy of the commander-in-chief, as the president's lawyers argue a sitting president can not be subpoenaed.

Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith told the Times that the intersection of presidential authority and a Justice Department investigation is an "open question" and that it's not clear whether the executive office carries the power to shut down inquiries and grant a kind of immunity to the president.

The letter, obtained by the Times and written by Trump lawyers (at the time) John Dowd and Jay Kekulow, contends that Trump or any sitting president can't obstruct a federal investigation because the Constitution allows a president to shut down a probe or pardon those convicted.

The move came though Trump has repeatedly said he's willing to testify and end the lengthy probe of Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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In it they say he has absolute power as U.S. legal chief to end investigations, or "even exercise his power to pardon". When asked whether Trump has the power to pardon himself , Giuliani replied, "he probably does ".

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"Such an action obviously has an impact on the investigation, but that is simply an effect of the president's lawful exercise of his constitutional power and can not constitute obstruction of justice".

Shortly before The New York Times published its story, however, Mr. Trump accused Mueller's team or Justice Department officials of leaking information to the media. "Mueller is creating his own problems", Giuliani said. So far, the special counsel's team has charged three Russian companies and 19 people. But he continued to cast doubt on the special counsel's eventual findings, suggesting that Trump has already offered explanations for the matters being investigated and that the special counsel was biased against the president. If Mr. Trump refuses to be questioned, Mr. Mueller will have to weigh their arguments while deciding whether to press ahead with a historic grand jury subpoena.

Can a president pardon himself? Lawyers for Trump and a spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment to ABC News.

Since taking control, Mueller's inquiry has advanced on multiple fronts to include whether Trump sought to obstruct the investigation by firing Comey.

The letter also provides new details about Trump's actions in dealing with the Russian Federation probe. "If there is collusion with a guy 50 rungs down, if it did, I don't know what that means", he added. Dowd left the legal team in March, while Sekulow continues representing the President.

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