Jun 3, 2018

Giuliani: Trump "probably" has power to pardon himself

President Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani said on ABC News' "This Week" that Trump "probably does" have the power to pardon himself if special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation found him guilty of obstructing justice in the Russia probe.

He's not, but he probably does. He has no intention of pardoning himself, but that doesn't say he can't. That's really interesting constitutional argument: 'Can the president pardon himself? ... It would be an open question.
— said Giuliani, when host George Stephanopoulos asked if Trump has such authority.

The background: The comment follows a Saturday report detailing how Trump's legal team's new strategy is to argue he can't obstruct the Russia investigation because his presidential authority is so broad it makes obstruction impossible.

  • They also flirted the possibility of a legal fight over if Mueller’s team ordered Trump to answer questions.

Highlights of Giuliani’s round robin on Sunday morning talk shows:

  • On the White House's apparent shifting explanations on Trump Tower meeting: "This is the reason you don't let the president testify. Our recollection keeps changing, or we're not even asked a question and somebody makes an assumption," he said on "This Week."

Asked on "Meet the Press" if Trump can terminate any federal inquiry: "It could lead to impeachment, if he terminated an investigation of himself." But, Giuliani added there could be a constitutional argument that Trump could.

Former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara quickly followed up on CNN's State of the Union saying: "I think if the president decided he was going to pardon himself, I think it is almost self-executing impeachment. Whether or not there is an argument that is not what the framers could have intended."

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,429,437 — Total deaths: 82,074 — Total recoveries: 300,767Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 398,785 — Total deaths: 12,893 — Total recoveries: 22,083Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill — Trump said he "didn't see" memos from his trade adviser Peter Navarro warning that the crisis could kill more than half a million Americans.
  4. States latest: California Gov. Gavin Newsom is confident that more than 200 million masks will be delivered to the state "at a monthly basis starting in the next few weeks."
  5. Business latest: America's food heroes in times of the coronavirus crisis. Even when the economy comes back to life, huge questions for airlines will remain.
  6. World updates: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  7. 2020 latest: Polls for Wisconsin's primary elections closed at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, but results won't be released until April 13. Thousands of residents cast ballots in person.
  8. 1 Olympics thing: About 6,500 athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Games will keep their spots in 2021.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Wisconsin won't be declaring a winner tonight

A Wisconsin poll worker wearing PPE guides people through a line outside of a polling place. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Polls for Wisconsin's primary elections closed at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, but results won't be released until April 13 due to a back-and-forth on absentee voting amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The big picture: Democratic Gov. Tony Evers attempted to delay the state's election in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in polling places. The Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned his order Monday and said the election must be held on Tuesday as originally scheduled.

Trump hits WHO on coronavirus: "They should've known"

Trump briefs reporters at the White House on April 7. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump claimed at a press briefing on Tuesday that the World Health Organization "probably" knew about the dangers of the novel coronavirus pandemic months before the agency sounded the alarm.

The big picture: The WHO declared COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern on Jan. 30 — 10 days after the CDC confirmed the first case in the U.S. and 11 days after South Korea announced its first case. Chinese officials told the WHO's China office about cases of COVID-19 on Dec. 31.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health