US President Donald Trump asserted Monday that the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller is unconstitutional and insisted that he has “the absolute right” to pardon himself, a declaration that follows the publication of a letter from the president’s legal team making the same assertion.
"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?" he said on Twitter.
“The appointment of the Special Councel [sic] is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Despite that, we play the game because I, unlike the Democrats, have done nothing wrong!” he added in a subsequent post.
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? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018
The appointment of the Special Counsel is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Despite that, we play the game because I, unlike the Democrats, have done nothing wrong!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018
Trump’s declarations come after months of negotiations between Trump’s legal team and Mueller’s prosecutors over a presidential subpoena that have yet to bring them to an agreement over terms of an interview regarding the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump’s lawyers have been building a legal argument since late last summer for why Mueller shouldn’t be able to question Trump, the details of which were outlined in a confidential January memo to Mueller, who is in charge of the ongoing probe of alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 US Presidential elections. Remember, the details of the memo was leaked to the New York Times last week.
Among the subjects believed to be under investigation by Mueller’s team are allegations Trump tried to obstruct justice, an allegation that the letter from Trump’s legal team argues is invalid because the president, as head of the executive branch of government, has authority over all federal investigations. The Constitution, the letter reads, offers Trump the option to, “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”
The actions by Trump and his legal team mark the latest push to discredit the former FBI director and his federal prosecutors. Attorneys for the president have repeatedly called on the probe, which Trump has blasted on Twitter as “the greatest Witch Hunt in American History," to wrap up quickly.
In recent months Trump and his lawyers have challenged the probe on various fronts, claiming the special counsel does not hold the authority to compel the president to testify, suggesting the investigation “will be meddling” in the midterms, and casting doubt on the origins of the Russia probe by alleging an FBI "spy" infiltrated the Trump campaign.
He also has claimed the probe is driven by Democrats, despite the fact that Mueller is a registered Republican and was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, another member of the GOP.
Despite Trump and his allies' efforts, the investigation has shown no outward signs of slowing down.