Donald Trump’s TV attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has been all over the talk shows in a manic attempt to keep the president above the legal ruckus. The problem is that Giuliani has been sucking up all the publicity oxygen, and that is never good in this administration. This time, the former New York City mayor may have gone too far.
One of the piercing questions of the week has been whether or not the man in the Oval Office tried to obstruct justice. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating Russia’s attack on the 2016 presidential election and potential conspiracy with the Trump campaign.
Giuliani told ABC News This Week host George Stephanopoulos that Trump “probably does” have the ability to pardon himself, simply because he is the commander-in-chief. Then, the president’s public relations attorney really screwed things up.
The former New York City mayor managed to humiliated his boss and blow a gaping hole in the Trump legal team’s strategy, saying:
‘He (Trump) has no intention of pardoning himself. (But it is a) really interesting constitutional argument: “Can the president pardon himself?” I think the political ramifications of that would be tough. Pardoning other people is one thing. Pardoning yourself is another. Other presidents have pardoned people in circumstances like this, both in their administration and sometimes the next president even of a different party will come along and pardon.’
Trump’s legal team sent the special counsel a 20-page summary of the its legal strategy. The high point of that letter was that this president cannot be indicted, subpoenaed, nor obstruct justice.
Why? Their contention was that the president is above the law, because he is the “chief law enforcement officer.”
Giuliani’s comments came on the heels of the publication of a 20-page letter sent to Mueller from Trump’s legal team. It laid out the president’s legal strategy in the Russia investigation. The letter also stated that the commander-in-chief could halt Mueller’s inquiry and even pardon himself.
The New York Times first obtained the letter, which read:
‘It remains our position that the President’s actions here, by virtue of his position as the chief law enforcement officer, could neither constitutionally nor legally constitute obstruction because that would amount to him obstructing himself, and that he could if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired.’
Giuliani told Stephanopoulos that Mueller had not responded to the letter.
The Twitter world lit up in response to Giuliani’s disjointed television interview. Check out some more of our favorites:
Featured Image via Getty Images/Drew Angerer.