Giuliani: Trump couldn’t pardon himself
An attorney for President Donald Trump stressed Sunday that the president’s legal team would contest any effort to force the president to testify in front of a grand jury during the special counsel’s Russia probe but downplayed the idea that Trump could pardon himself.
Rudy Giuliani, in a series of television interviews, emphasized one of the main arguments in a newly unveiled letter sent by Trump’s lawyers to special counsel Robert Mueller back in January: that a president can’t be given a grand jury subpoena as part of the investigation into foreign meddling in the 2016 election.
But he distanced himself from one of their bolder arguments in the letter, which was first reported Saturday by The New York Times, that a president could not have committed obstruction of justice because he has authority to “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”
“Pardoning himself would be unthinkable and probably lead to immediate impeachment,” Giuliani told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And he has no need to do it; he’s done nothing wrong.”
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, but says the president’s legal team hasn’t discussed that option, which many observers believe could plunge the nation into a constitutional crisis.
“I think the political ramifications would be tough,” Giuliani told ABC’s “This Week.” “Pardoning other people is one thing – pardoning yourself is tough.”