Rudy Giuliani is the gift that keeps on giving.
He hit the Sunday morning talk circuit early, and today’s topic, given President Trump’s recent activities, was presidential pardons.
Specifically (and this may have been a question with a hidden message, given that this was George Stephanopoulos), would Trump pardon himself?
Wait… Could he?
Giuliani tackled the question with the usual, Giuliani-grasp of the facts.
"He’s not, but he probably does," Giuliani, who recently joined Trump's legal team, said on ABC's "This Week."
"He has no intention of pardoning himself," Giuliani said.
"That’s another really interesting constitutional question: Can the president pardon himself?" he added.
"It would be an open question. I think it would probably get answered by, 'gosh that’s what the Constitution says.’ And if you want to change it, change it. But, yeah.”
Does the Constitution say the president can pardon himself, if he’s been found guilty of some crime while in office?
That’s tricky. The president has pardon power over federal crimes (not state), except in cases of impeachment. Pardoning himself, however, is likely not an issue our founders considered, since their goal was to have noble men, of good intent as leaders of this republic.
“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” – Samuel Adams
Giuliani went on:
“I think the political ramifications of that would be tough,” Giuliani continued. "Pardoning other people is one thing, pardoning yourself is another."
He’s certainly right about that.
These questions will probably be popping up more often, given the letter leaked to the New York Times and revealed over the weekend. In the letter, written in January and hand-delivered to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, Trump’s lawyers, Jay Sekulow and John Dowd (who has since left Trump’s legal team) argue that Trump can’t obstruct an investigation because as president, he has control over all federal investigations.
It’s kind of a stretch.
It’s a stretch Trump’s legal team now seem to be banking on, however, even as other lawmakers are advising against putting those thoughts in Trump’s head.