President Donald Trump said he has “the absolute right to PARDON” himself in a tweet Monday morning but added that he has “done nothing wrong” as the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election continues.
The president also claimed that the appointment last year of former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the Russia probe “is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL.”
The tweets were posted after Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani suggested during interviews on a pair of Sunday TV shows that as president, Trump has the authority to pardon himself.
“He probably does,” have the authority, Giuliani said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “He has no intention of pardoning himself, but he probably – not to say he can’t.”
However, Giuliani told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump pardoning himself “would be unthinkable and probably lead to immediate impeachment.”
Giuliani's comments came as the White House sharpened its legal and political defenses against the special counsel Russia probe, which Trump has repeatedly called a “witch hunt.”
Mueller’s investigation, launched in May 2017, has led to charges against several people connected to the Trump presidential campaign and its officials.
The president’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has pleaded not guilty to a variety of money laundering and other criminal charges stemming from the probe. Five people -- including former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign aides Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos -- have pleaded guilty to charges in the probe and agreed to cooperate with investigators.