Giuliani, Echoing Leaked Memo, Says Trump Has "Broad Powers" Over Mueller Investigation

Trump Lawyers: A President Cannot Obstruct Justice

Trump Lawyers: A President Cannot Obstruct Justice

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said he had committed no wrongdoing but had the legal power to pardon himself, echoing the argument put forth by his lawyers in a memo to the U.S. special counsel investigating Russian Federation that was made public in media reports over the weekend.

This Sunday, George Stephanopoulos goes one-on-one with President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to discuss the Trump team's strategy in the Mueller investigation.

"He has no intention of pardoning himself, but he probably - not to say he can't", Giuliani said.

More than a year ago, Trump fired Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, a move special counsel Robert Mueller is probing as potential obstruction of justice.

Responding to questions, Giuliani said that the political ramifications of Trump pardoning himself would be tough.

The question of self-pardon arose after the New York Times published a letter to the counsel from Mr Trump's lawyers.

Trump has issued two unrelated pardons in recent days and discussed others, a move that has been interpreted as a possible signal to allies ensnared in the Russian Federation inquiry.

Legal experts cited by the Times are divided on whether the president has the power to pardon himself, as no president has previously tried to do so. He was answering a question related to Robert Mueller's "Russiagate" probe.




Giuliani also confirmed that Trump still wants to testify to Mueller, but his legal team has advised him not to do so.

Long-standing Justice Department rules have concluded that a sitting president can not be indicted for criminal wrongdoing.

Giuliani was asked on ABC whether a president accused of a crime as serious as murder or bribery could terminate the investigation.

The Trump lawyer said "at best there was ambiguity" whether Trump obstructed justice in his dismissal of Comey in May 2017, which then led Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, over Trump's objections, to name Mueller to lead the probe.

"As you know, and as Mr. Comey himself has acknowledged, a President can fire an FBI Director at any time and for any reason", the attorneys wrote.

The president expressed dismay that, when still a candidate, he wasn't told that authorities were probing Paul Manafort, who was hired as Trump's campaign chairman.

In the letter penned by Trump lawyers John Dowd and Jay Sekulow, it was argued that President has the power to "order the termination of an investigation by the Justice Department or FBI at any time and for any reason". Negotiations between Trump's lawyers and the special counsel on a possible interview have continued ever since. These letters argue, essentially, that the president can't obstruct justice. I spent a moment wondering, but in the end I think they didn't mean this the way it sounds.

Giuliani said "you don't let the president testify" after acknowledging several past remarks in which Trump contradicted himself in public statements. Trump fired him previous year. "Should have told me!"

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