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Trump Says He Can Pardon Himself, He Can’t Say Legal Scholars

President Trump on Monday asserted an “absolute right” to pardon himself of any federal crimes but said he has no reason to do so because he has not engaged in any wrongdoing.

Trump’s assessment of his pardon powers echoed that of his lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who offered an expansive view of the president’s executive powers during a series of interviews Sunday, arguing that Trump probably has the ability to pardon himself.

“He probably does,” Giuliani said Sunday, when asked on ABC’s “This Week” whether Trump has the ability to pardon himself. “He has no intention of pardoning himself, but he probably — not to say he can’t.”

There’s no precedent for it and thus no case law. Turley said he believes a president can pardon himself — but added that would not protect a president from impeachment.

“A president cannot pardon out of an impeachment,” Turley said. Congress, he said, “can use his pardon as an abuse of his office.”

Ethan Leib, a professor at Fordham Law School, said he believes a president can’t self-pardon because that violates the oath of office — in which the president swears to “faithfully execute” his duties — and the stipulation in Article II of the Constitution that the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

“The Constitution is clearly prohibiting the president from engaging in self-dealing,” Leib said.


 

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