A president can't obstruct justice? That's not quite right, legal scholars say

04 June, 2018, 20:26 | Author: Kim Reid
  • LAS VEGAS NV- FEBRUARY 23 Donald Trump Jr. looks on as his father Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a caucus night watch party at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino

On Sunday, Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, - who has become Trump's most prolific public mouthpiece in the Russian Federation collusion investigation - told ABC News that Trump could "probably" issue himself a pardon for any crimes uncovered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Reports surfaced that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask President Donald Trump about conversations the president had with Attorney General Jeff Sessions about un-recusing from the Russian Federation investigation.

"You might want to say he has very broad powers and somebody who wants to question that under Article Two has a big, big burden of showing that there is no innocent explanation for what he did", Giuliani responded.

Giuliani, making the rounds on the Sunday morning news programs, told ABC's This Week that the president "probably does" have the ability to pardon himself.

He went on: "I think the political ramifications of that would be tough".

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The letter, obtained by The New York Times, argued that Trump does not legally have to sit for an interview with Mueller's investigative team. "That's another really interesting constitutional question: Can the president pardon himself?"

It is indeed. Robert Mueller is not going away.

A special counsel is investigating Russia's role in the 2016 election, and whether Mr Trump obstructed justice.

The investigation led by Mr Mueller - previously appointed FBI director by former president George W Bush - has already led to criminal charges against Trump campaign aides, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Trump, who was spending a rainy Washington weekend at Camp David, also unleashed a new attack on the Justice Department, which he has repeatedly painted as corrupt and biased against him.

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President Donald Trump on Monday claimed that he reserved the right to pardon himself should he ever be found guilty of any wrongdoing.

When the Supreme Court has held that the Constitution allows or requires certain types of involvement in legal proceedings by presidents, the justices are always careful to explain how those involvements are different from a criminal investigation. Part of the investigation includes whether Trump tried to obstruct justice in the federal probe of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 USA presidential election.

Laywer Elura Nanos, writing for Law & Crime, said a pardon would be "too much for" Trump's presidency to bear.

"He has no intention of pardoning himself", Giuliani said.

The tweet capped a flurry of missives Trump made on social media on Monday as he marked his 500 days in office by recapping what he said were successes on the economy, job creation and health care. I think under circumstances where there's no - at best there's ambiguity as to whether there was intent.

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"This is the president's decision ultimately, " he said. The document also argues that Trump "could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired". "Should have told me!"

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