Jun 4, 2018

What they're saying: Reactions to Trump's self-pardon tweets

President Trump waving to the press. Photo: Oliver Douliery-pool/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted that he has the "absolute right" to pardon himself in any investigation on Monday morning after personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani argued he "probably does" have the right to do so.

The big picture: Some legal experts are blasting the president for suggesting that he'd be able to pardon himself and some are saying that there are ways he could pardon himself or be pardoned.

What they're saying
  • Trump administration counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox News and said it doesn't matter whether Trump can pardon himself:
"To ask whether President Trump will pardon himself is a ridiculous question because you would only pardon yourself if you’ve done something wrong."
  • Senator Chuck Grassley told CNN Trump needs to find a new lawyer:
"If I were president of the United States and I had a lawyer that told me I could pardon myself, I think I would hire a new lawyer."
  • In a tweet, Senator Richard Blumenthal said Trump pardoning himself would be "unthinkable":
"Only in a two-bit tin horn totalitarian dictatorship could the President even consider pardoning himself from all accountability. "
  • Senator Ed Markey looked to a DOJ ruling for clarity on the issue and said Trump can't pardon himself in a tweet:
"'Under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, the President cannot pardon himself,' – DOJ Office of Legal Counsel, 4 days before Nixon resigned."
  • House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Trump never explicitly said that he'd pardon himself. He also added he doesn't think a president should ever pardon themselves:
"The president is not saying he is going to pardon himself. The president never said he pardoned himself...I don't think a president should pardon themselves."
  • Paula Reid of CBS said Trump isn't able to pardon himself based on a DOJ ruling, but Vice President Mike Pence can.

Go deeper: What we know about Trump's self-pardon power.

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