United States President Donald Trump on Monday said that he has the right to pardon himself, but wouldn’t need to do so since he has done “nothing wrong”.
“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?”, Trump tweeted.
In an apparent reference to the investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, he said the “witch hunt” led by “13 very angry Democrats” was continuing. In October, Trump had said the allegations of a collusion between his campaign and Russia were part of a “witch hunt for evil politics”.
The US president also attacked Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is heading the investigation into alleged Russian meddling, questioning the constitutional basis of his inquiry. “The appointment of the special counsel is totally unconstitutional,” he tweeted.
Trump’s comments come after Rudy Giuliani, one of his attorneys in the Russia investigation, on Sunday said that Trump “probably does” have the power to pardon himself, but won’t. “He has no intention of pardoning himself,” said Giuliani. “But it is a really interesting constitutional argument: ‘Can the president pardon himself?’”
Giuliani made the comments after the publication of a 20-page letter sent to Mueller from Trump’s legal team earlier this year that lays out the president’s legal strategy in the Russia investigation.
The letter, dated January 29, argues that, as president, Trump cannot be indicted, cannot be subpoenaed and could not be held guilty of obstruction of justice due to his position as the “chief law enforcement officer”.