President Donald Trump insisted that he has the constitutional right to pardon himself if he so pleased, but suggested that he would refrain from exercising this power as he has done “nothing wrong.”

 

 

This comment follows a confidential the New York Times publishing a 20-page letter to special counsel Robert Mueller from Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow and then-lawyer John Dowd. The letter states that the president cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, as the Constitution gives him the right to “terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”

The Times reports that Trump’s lawyers fear that if the president answers any questions, he may be accused of lying to investigators, which is a potentially impeachable offense. These fears have undoubtedly not been assuaged by the letter’s numerous contradictions of public statements made by Sekulow and the White House. The letter mentions, for instance, that Trump “dictated” a statement about his son’s 2016 meeting with Russians, something that was previously denied and downplayed.

Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani told ABC’s This Week that the president has “no intention of pardoning himself,” and that actually doing so “would probably lead to immediate impeachment.”

When discussing Trump’s role in dictating the Trump Tower statement, Giuliani also said, “this is the reason you don’t let the president testify… our recollection keeps changing.” He added that he is still leaning against Trump interviewing with Mueller.

“I think [if] the president decided he was going to pardon himself, I think that’s almost self-executing impeachment,” formed U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said on CNN’s State of the Union. “Whether or not there is a minor legal argument that some law professor somewhere in a legal journal can make that the president can pardon, that’s not what the framers could have intended. That’s not what the American people, I think, would be able to stand for.”