Trump Asserts “Absolute” Right to Pardon Himself in Russia Probe

And he further undermined special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Olivier Douliery/Zumapress

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President Donald Trump asserted in a tweet Monday that he has “the absolute right to PARDON myself,” doubling down on claims by his lawyers that he has complete authority over the investigation into his 2016 campaign’s possible collusion with Russia.

The New York Times published a confidential memo over the weekend sent by Trump’s lawyers to special counsel Robert Mueller in January explaining why the president need not sit for an interview with Mueller. Their main argument was that Trump couldn’t possibly obstruct justice in the Mueller probe because the Constitution grants the president power to, “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”

The letter provided an unprecedented look into the White House’s legal reasoning as it deals with the special counsel investigation, and it has raised a series of legal questions that remain unsettled—namely, whether the president can, in fact, pardon himself.

In several Monday morning tweets, Trump reasserted his lawyer’s claims and continued to take aim at the investigation, calling it a “witch hunt” and “unconstitutional.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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