I have right to pardon myself, declares Donald Trump

The US President weighed in on the question of whether he could pardon himself. (AP)

Donald Trump says he has the “absolute right” to pardon himself, but says he has done nothing wrong in the Russia probe.

In a tweet tonight, the US President weighed in on the question of whether he could pardon himself should special counsel Robert Mueller find he had interfered in the investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump’s lawyer Rudy ¬Giuliani had suggested in TV ¬interviews on Sunday that Trump might have that authority to pardon himself but would be unwise to use it.

“Pardoning himself would be unthinkable and probably lead to immediate impeachment,’’ Giuliani told NBC’s Meet the Press.

But Trump, in his tweet, declared: “As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?”

Giuliani ¬underscored one of the main ¬arguments in a newly unveiled ¬letter sent by Trump’s lawyers to Mueller in January: the President cannot be given a grand jury subpoena as part of the probe into foreign meddling in the 2016 election.

Giuliani broke with one of the bolder arguments in the letter that a president could not have committed obstruction of justice because he has ultimate authority over any federal investigation.

He also played down the possibility that Trump could pardon himself, suggesting he might have that authority but would be unwise to use it.

But he added that Trump “probably does” have the power to pardon himself, an ¬assertion challenged by legal scholars. He said the President’s legal team had not discussed that option, which many observers ¬believe could plunge the nation into a constitutional crisis. “Pardoning other people is one thing — pardoning yourself is tough,” ¬Giuliani told the US-based ABC.

Trump has issued two pardons in recent days and discussed others, a move that has been interpreted as a possible signal to allies ensnared in the Russia probe.

The letter is dated January 29 and addressed to Mueller from John Dowd, a Trump lawyer who has since resigned. Mueller has requested an interview with Trump to determine whether he had criminal intent to obstruct the Russia probe.

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