Trump Says He Can Pardon Himself, He Can’t Say Legal Scholars

President Trump on Monday asserted an โ€œabsolute rightโ€ to pardon himself of any federal crimes but said he has no reason to do so because he has not engaged in any wrongdoing.

Trumpโ€™s assessment of his pardon powers echoed that of his lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who offered an expansive view of the presidentโ€™s executive powers during a series of interviews Sunday, arguing that Trump probably has the ability to pardon himself.

โ€œHe probably does,โ€ Giuliani said Sunday, when asked on ABCโ€™s โ€œThis Weekโ€ whether Trump has the ability to pardon himself. โ€œHe has no intention of pardoning himself, but he probably โ€” not to say he canโ€™t.โ€

Thereโ€™s no precedent for it and thus no case law. Turley said he believes a president can pardon himself โ€” but added that would not protect a president from impeachment.

โ€œA president cannot pardon out of an impeachment,โ€ Turley said. Congress, he said, โ€œcan use his pardon as an abuse of his office.โ€

Ethan Leib, a professor at Fordham Law School, said he believes a president canโ€™t self-pardon because that violates the oath of office โ€” in which the president swears to โ€œfaithfully executeโ€ his duties โ€” and the stipulation in Article II of the Constitution that the president โ€œshall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.โ€

โ€œThe Constitution is clearly prohibiting the president from engaging in self-dealing,โ€ Leib said.