Giuliani says Trump 'probably' has the power to pardon himself

Twitter/@ThisWeekABCRudy Giuliani appeared on ABC’s ‘This Week’ on Sunday, June 3, 2018.
  • Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and current attorney for President Donald Trump, said on ABC’s “This Week” that the president “probably” has the power to pardon himself.
  • Giuliani also said that the president has no plans of pardoning himself and that such a move could have serious political consequences.

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and current lead attorney for President Donald Trump, said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that the president “probably” has the power to pardon himself.

“He’s not, but he probably does,” Giuliani said to George Stephanopoulos. “He has no intention of pardoning himself, but that doesn’t say he can’t.”

But Giuliani also added that pardoning himself could have serious political consequences for Trump.

“I think the political ramifications of that would be tough,” Giuliani said. “Pardoning other people is one thing. Pardoning yourself is another.”

Giuliani also doubled down in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press,” saying, “The president of the United States pardoning himself is unthinkable … It would probably lead to immediate impeachment. The president has no need to do that, he’s done nothing wrong. It’s not going to happen.”

Giuliani’s comments on the president’s power to pardon come just days after Trump pardoned conservative activist Dinesh D’Souza and floated the possibility of pardoning Martha Stewart and commuting the sentence of the former Illinois Gov. Rob Blagojevich.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that Trump’s legal team believes that Trump under the constitution can exercise his power to pardon in the Russia investigation in a letter written to special counsel Robert Mueller in January.

Both supporters and opponents of the president, however were quick to dissuade him from entertaining the idea of pardoning himself.

On CNN’s State of the Union, former US Attorney Preet Bharara said, “If the President decided he was going to pardon himself, that’s almost self-executing impeachment.”

Also appearing on CNN, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “I don’t think a President should pardon themselves.”

After Giuliani’s appearance on “This Week”, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that Trump would not pardon himself. “If the president were to pardon himself, he’ll get impeached,” he said.

The president has broad powers to pardon, but they are not entirely unlimited, legal experts have said in recent months. Trump has the power to grant pardons “for offenses against the United States,” meaning federal crimes, but he cannot grant pardons in impeachment or state cases.

The debate over whether or not a president can pardon himself has never been resolved – because no president has attempted such a thing. According to NPR, most legal experts do not believe that Trump can pardon himself because no one can be a judge in their own case.

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