Administration

Trump doubles down, says he has ‘absolute right to pardon myself’

President Trump on Friday doubled down on his claim that he can pardon himself for any potential crimes but insisted that he would not have to because he hasn’t broken the law.

“I have an absolute right to pardon myself,” Trump told reporters outside the White House before departing for the G-7 summit. 

Trump’s comments marked the second time in a matter of days that he asserted his right to pardon himself in the event that he is charged with an offense.

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He made the same assertion in a tweet on Monday.

“As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” he tweeted.

“In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!” 

Trump’s claim backs up an argument his lawyers made to special counsel Robert Mueller in a January letter, in which they asserted that the president could simply terminate the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election if he wanted.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday pushed back on Trump’s assertion that he could pardon himself, declaring that “no one is above the law.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also commented, saying on Tuesday that Trump should not pardon himself, but also waved off such a scenario as unlikely. 

Tags Donald Trump G-7 Mitch McConnell Pardon Paul Ryan Robert Mueller Special counsel Trump lawyers Trump tweets

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