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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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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