After Rudy Giuliani appeared to have left open the possibility that his client Donald Trump could one day pardon himself, the president himself weighed in on the matter Monday.
“As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!” Trump tweeted.
As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018
Trump’s tweet follows an appearance by Giuliani on ABC News’ “This Week,” in which the former New York City mayor was asked about the president’s power to pardon himself, and Giuliani said, “He’s not, but he probably does.”
“He has no intention of pardoning himself,” Giuliani added. “That doesn’t say he can’t. That’s another really interesting constitutional argument: Can the president pardon himself? It would be an open question. I think it would probably get answered by, ‘gosh that’s what the Constitution says.’ And if you want to change it, change it. But, yeah.”
His comments came after the New York Times’ release of a confidential memo Trump’s attorneys reportedly sent to special counsel Robert Mueller.
“It remains our position that the President’s actions here, by virtue of his position as the chief law enforcement officer, could neither constitutionally nor legally constitute obstruction because that would amount to him obstructing himself, and that he could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired,” the letter states.
In its annotation of the letter, the Times says this line is “an ambiguous one…But the sentence may also leave open the possibility that he could order the obstruction investigation into himself shut down or even pardon himself. No president has ever purported to pardon himself, and it is unclear whether he could.”
Some legal experts have publicly argued that Trump cannot pardon himself, but the matter has not been tested in court.