International News

Trump says he has right to pardon himself in Russia probe

US President Donald Trump says he has the “absolute right” to pardon himself from any charges stemming from the probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
In a tweet on Monday, Trump insisted he did nothing wrong during his presidential election campaign.
“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?” Trump wrote.
“In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!” he added.
Trump lawyer and former New York mayor Rudy ­Giuliani suggested in TV ­interviews on Sunday that the US Constitution gives the president the authority to pardon himself but it would be unwise to use it.
“He has no intention of pardoning himself,” Giuliani told ABC News. “That doesn’t say he can’t.”
The US Justice Department’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Russia meddled in the presidential election and whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow.
Mueller, whose investigation already has led to criminal charges against Trump campaign aides including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is also looking into whether Trump unlawfully sought to obstruct the Russia investigation.
Both Russia and Trump deny collusion, and the president has denied obstructing the probe.
The possibility of a self-pardon appeared to be raised in a January 29 letter from Trump’s lawyers to Mueller, published by The New York Times on Saturday, arguing that the president could not have obstructed the probe given the powers granted to him by the Constitution.
A Justice Department memo dated four days before former President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 during the Watergate political corruption scandal took the view that “under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, the President cannot pardon himself.”