RUDY GIULIANI publicly pressed Donald Trump’s expansive view of executive power this weekend, arguing that the president probably has the sweeping constitutional authority to pardon even himself.
“He probably does,” Giuliani said, when asked on ABC’s “This Week” if Trump has the ability to pardon himself. “He has no intention of pardoning himself, but he probably — not to say he can’t.”
Giuliani’s comments came less than 24 hours after the revelation Saturday that the president’s legal team argued in a secret January memo to special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump could not have obstructed an FBI probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election because, as president, he has total control over all federal investigations.
The 20-page letter, written before Giuliani joined Trump’s legal team by two of the president’s lawyers at the time and first reported by the New York Times, was hand delivered to Mueller’s office, and also argues that the president cannot be compelled to testify.
But while arguing that the president has the theoretical ability to pardon himself, Giuliani and other Trump allies on Sunday nonetheless rejected the reality of such a brash move — in part because of the political backlash they said could lead to Trump’s impeachment.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” for instance, Giuliani framed the pardon question as purely hypothetical and politically implausible. “It’s not going to happen. It’s a hypothetical point,” he told host Chuck Todd.
He went on to describe such a move as “unthinkable,” and said it would probably lead immediately to impeachment.