'I have the absolute right to pardon myself'

In secret memo to Mueller Trump’s lawyers said presidential powers preclude possibility of obstruction

President Trump accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outside the White House this week

Trump declared in tweets earlier on Monday that he has the "absolute right" to pardon himself and called Mueller unconstitutional. "That's why he's tweeting about it".

Rudy Giuliani, a member of Trump's legal team, then defended this claim in an interview with The Huffington Post.

On Monday, President Donald Trump said he could pardon himself in the Russian Federation probe.

That means that if President Trump pardoned himself, Congress would likely be the instrument to act as a check on what the legal experts would consider an unprecedented power grab.

"The idea that a president can't obstruct justice died with King George III, with a brief attempt at revival by Richard Nixon", he said.

"The guy made a mistake", Giuliani said.

Mr Giuliani told ABC it was an "open question" whether Mr Trump would sit for an interview with Mr Mueller, but the President's lawyers were leaning against having him testify.

Sanders previously claimed that President Donald Trump did not personally dictate a statement regarding a controversial meeting between his son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Kremlin-linked lawyer at Trump Tower in 2016.

Over the weekend, the New York Times released a 20-page letter from Trump's lawyers to Mueller's team laying out a variety of legal arguments against the probe, including the claim that Trump can not obstruct justice because he is constitutionally empowered to "terminate the inquiry".

"Let's hope we don't get there", he added. Special prosecutors, also known as independent counsels, are not a new legal tool to ensure the integrity of an investigation.

Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican, said Tuesday a self-pardon would be "political malpractice". They have to make a decision without him.

The New York Democrat, who would be in line to be the Senate majority leader if his party takes control of the chamber in the November midterm elections, told NPR that the Senate is "definitely in play".

Smith, a New York-based lawyer, is a director at the London-based Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and chief executive officer of the Telos Governance Advisers. "Our recollection keeps changing, or we're not even asked a question and somebody makes an assumption". The point to note about impeachment though, is that such proceedings in Congress are invariably partisan affairs, and it is hard to imagine Trump being pushed out of office as long as the Republicans control the House and the Senate. His team raised the possibility in March of subpoenaing the president, but it is not clear if it is still under active consideration.

And while the president's pardon power is "very broad", there are other checks - including the fact that he can be impeached and that he can be voted out of office, Morison pointed out.

Litman points to the Paula Jones civil harassment case against President Bill Clinton in which the U.S. Supreme Court said federal courts were not required to stay the proceedings.

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