Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Giuliani: Trump team would try to avert subpoena

Rudolph W. Giuliani speaks to reporters at the White House on Thursday Rudolph W. Giuliani speaks to reporters at the White House on Thursday
Faye Gross | 04 June, 2018, 05:25

Rudy Giuliani believes President Donald Trump probably has the power to pardon himself.

"You might want to say he has very broad powers and somebody who wants to question that under Article Two has a big, big burden of showing that there is no innocent explanation for what he did", Giuliani responded.

Trump's lawyers argued in a letter to the special counsel that the president could not have obstructed the probe given the powers granted to him by the Constitution, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

He stressed, though, that Trump had done nothing wrong.

Trump's team not only argues that he can pardon himself but also argues that he has unlimited power to investigate his enemies and end investigations into his friends.

Trump's lawyers and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders previously denied the president had dictated the statement and only offered suggestions.

Giuliani said. "That's another really interesting Constitutional argument...can the president pardon himself?" he mused.

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"As only one of two people left who could become President, why wouldn't the Federal Bureau of Investigation or Department of "Justice" have told me that they were secretly investigating Paul Manafort (on charges that were 10 years old and had been previously dropped) during my campaign?" They also asserted that "he could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired". That is because, they say, obstruction of justice "would amount to him obstructing himself" as the nation's chief law enforcement officer.

The 20-page letter was a response to repeated requests by Mueller's office asking to interview Trump.

Giuliani continued: "I think the political ramifications of that would be tough". I don't know where the President would go forward pardoning himself. The New York Times published the January 29 letter this weekend.

Meanwhile, Trump engaged in jabs at the Justice Department via Twitter on Sunday morning, going so far as to put "Justice" in quotes. It begins with Trump's on-camera statement to Lester Holt that "when I chose to just do it" and fire Comey, "I said to myself. you know this Russian Federation thing with Trump is a made-up story".

Both Mr Trump and Russian Federation have continued to deny any collusion in the run-up to his shock election triumph, with the United States leader previously labelling the investigation a "witch hunt".

Those opinions, though, are not the same as a court decision, nor do they rule out a president being forced to testify.

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