Washington June 4 :US President Donald Trump has “broad powers” to terminate the Russia probe and pardon himself but he does not intend to do so, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani has said.
Rudy appeared on ABC’s This Week programme and was asked whether Trump had the power to pardon himself.
Giuliani, the head of Trump’s legal team, said he “probably does”, but added: “He has no intention of pardoning himself.”
He went on: “I think the political ramifications of that would be tough. Pardoning other people is one thing. Pardoning yourself is another.”
The question of self-pardon arose after several news reports emerged about a letter to the counsel from Trump’s lawyers. In it, they say he has absolute power as US legal chief to end investigations, or “even exercise his power to pardon”.Such absolute powers, they argue, mean that he could not have obstructed justice in any case.
A special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 election and possible collusion with Russia by Trump, and whether Trump obstructed justice.But Trump has always maintained there was no collusion and that the investigation is a “witch hunt”.
Part of Mueller’s investigation is looking at whether Trump sought to criminally obstruct it, in particular with the sacking of ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former FBI director James Comey, and with his reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the investigation.
“There was No Collusion with Russia (except by the Democrats). When will this very expensive Witch Hunt Hoax ever end? So bad for our Country,” Trump tweeted after the investigation passed its one-year mark last month.
“Is the Special Counsel/Justice Department leaking my lawyers letters to the Fake News Media? Should be looking at Dems corruption instead?”
Speaking on CNN on Sunday, House Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that no president should pardon himself.
It all stems from the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged collusion between the Trump team and Russian officials in the election campaign that brought the president to power.