Trump Lawyers: A President Cannot Obstruct Justice

04 June, 2018, 13:28 | Author: Carlos George
  • President Trump

President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Sunday why he wouldn't want the president to ever testify in the Russian Federation investigation.

"It could lead to impeachment", Giuliani said, referring to the idea of Trump pardoning himself. "It would be an open question, but gosh, I think it would probably get answered by, 'Gosh, that's what the Constitution says, and if you want to change it, change it'".

"I think the political ramifications would be tough", Giuliani told ABC.

United States President Donald Trump, under pressure from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election, probably has the power to pardon himself but does not plan to do so, his attorney Rudy Giuliani has said.

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.

Does President Trump have the power to pardon himself?

But he distanced himself from one of the bolder arguments in the letter to Mueller: that a president could not have committed obstruction of justice because he has authority to "if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon". Giuliani also sought to downplay the Mueller probe, saying that "apart from a couple guilty pleas nobody's really been convicted yet". Trump told NBC News' Lester Holt that he had the Russian Federation investigation in his mind when he made the decision to fire Comey, though he has recently switched his story, denying his own televised worlds to claim that he did not fire Comey due to the Russian Federation investigation.

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. He [has] no intention of pardoning of himself.

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Numerous legal issues the president's team raised have little precedent, legal analysts said.

First, it argues that the president has already allowed the Special Counsel to have many documents and interview White House staff, and that "i$3 n light of these voluntary offerings, your office clearly lacks the requisite need to personally interview the President".

Preet Bharara. U.S. Attorney for Southern District of NY.

That stance mirrors a memo sent to Mueller in January, and reported Friday by the New York Times. Sanders on Sunday referred questions about the matter to Trump's outside legal team.

Trump in recent days has contended that the Federal Bureau of Investigation planted a "spy" in his campaign, although there is no evidence that the investigative agency embedded anyone in the Trump operations ahead of the November 2016 vote.

"In issues of intent, there's only one person on Earth that can conclusively speak to that issue, and that is the president himself", Turley said.

Rudy Giuliani may be part of President Trump's legal team, but some are wondering which side he is actually on. They said that while the courts might ultimately limit what the president could be asked, it was unlikely they would agree with the president's legal interpretation that he cannot obstruct justice.

Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, waves to people during White House Sports and Fitness Day on the South Lawn of the White House, on Tuesday in Washington. "They were trying to make a broad argument. Should have told me!" Trump would find little sympathy from Republicans in the Senate if he did so.

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