Since Rudy Giuliani joined President Trump’s legal defense team, he’s been busy matching the president in the sheer number of outrageously false claims he makes in his multiple appearances on cable news programs where he appears as Trump’s surrogate and defender.
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Giuliani’s comments on Fox News and other networks have often contradicted the previous statements made by the president and his other spokespeople and undermined Trump’s own legal position in several cases, including the litigation brought by adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
This morning, Giuliani made one of his most preposterous claims to date, in an appearance on ABC’s This Week.
In a week where the president has exercised his power to pardon convicted criminals to clear the record of Dinesh D’Souza, a right-wing celebrity felon who made illegal campaign contributions — a move that many see as a signal to his indicted campaign aides of what they can expect if they keep their mouths shut and refuse to cooperate with the Mueller inquiry — Giuliani made the unprecedented claim that Trump “probably” has the power to pardon himself, placing himself above the law.
“He has no intention of pardoning himself,” Giuliani said.
“That’s another really interesting constitutional question: Can the president pardon himself?” he added.
“It would be an open question. I think it would probably get answered by, ‘gosh that’s what the Constitution says.’ And if you want to change it, change it. But, yeah.”
“I think the political ramifications of that would be tough,” Giuliani continued. “Pardoning other people is one thing, pardoning yourself is another.”
Richard Nixon would have loved to have Giuliani on his legal team during Watergate. If Giuliani could have convinced the Supreme Court of his novel interpretation of the Constitution, Nixon wouldn’t have had to resign and let his successor, former Vice-President Gerald Ford, issue the pardon instead.
Coming a day after The New York Times published a leaked letter from Trump’s previous legal team that made an equally audacious claim that the president simply cannot obstruct justice because of his constitutional oversight over the federal justice system, Giuliani’s assertion of presidential legal invulnerability flies in the face of all judicial precedent as well as the intention’s of our nation’s founders who would be appalled at the idea of a president with king-like sovereignty and immunity from prosecution.
Giuliani did say that the letter from Trump’s previous attorneys was not something he himself would assert and expanded on the political ramifications of a self-pardon as “sort of a hollow promise” and “impractical.”
“The president of the United States pardoning himself would just be unthinkable, and it would lead to probably an immediate impeachment,” Giuliani said.
In a saner era, that might be true, but given the lengths to which a Republican-controlled Congress has already gone to protect the president for their own political gain, impeachment without handing control of Congress in the mid-term elections to the Democrats is highly unlikely, so make sure to vote in November.
You can watch Rudy Giuliani make his unprecedented statement on ABC’s This Week in the video clip below.
JUST IN: Does Pres. Trump have the power to pardon himself?
"He's not, but he probably does," Rudy Giuliani tells @GStephanopoulos. "He has no intention of pardoning himself, but that doesn't say he can't." https://t.co/IEUEWnjQqe #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/IE1AocigYl
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 3, 2018
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