Trump Asserts “Absolute” Right to Pardon Himself in Russia Probe

And he further undermined special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Olivier Douliery/Zumapress

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President Donald Trump asserted in a tweet Monday that he has “the absolute right to PARDON myself,” doubling down on claims by his lawyers that he has complete authority over the investigation into his 2016 campaign’s possible collusion with Russia.

The New York Times published a confidential memo over the weekend sent by Trump’s lawyers to special counsel Robert Mueller in January explaining why the president need not sit for an interview with Mueller. Their main argument was that Trump couldn’t possibly obstruct justice in the Mueller probe because the Constitution grants the president power to, “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”

The letter provided an unprecedented look into the White House’s legal reasoning as it deals with the special counsel investigation, and it has raised a series of legal questions that remain unsettled—namely, whether the president can, in fact, pardon himself.

In several Monday morning tweets, Trump reasserted his lawyer’s claims and continued to take aim at the investigation, calling it a “witch hunt” and “unconstitutional.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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