Grassley on Giuliani pardon comments: 'I think I would hire a new lawyer'

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, suggested Monday that the President should hi...

Posted: Jun 5, 2018 11:07 AM
Updated: Jun 5, 2018 11:07 AM

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, suggested Monday that the President should hire a new lawyer if his current one is telling him that he can pardon himself.

"If I were President of the United States and I had a lawyer that told me I could pardon myself, I think I would hire a new lawyer," Grassley told CNN when asked if he agrees that President Donald Trump could pardon himself.

Trump tweeted Monday that he had the "absolute right to pardon myself" but would not do so because he'd done nothing wrong.

"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!" the President tweeted.

Trump's comments echo the stance that his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has taken. Giuliani said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that Trump "probably does" have such power to pardon himself, but won't.

In addition, Giuliani told HuffPost in an interview that the President's power extends so far that "in no case can he be subpoenaed or indicted."

"I don't know how you can indict while he's in office. No matter what it is," Giuliani said. "If he shot James Comey, he'd be impeached the next day," Giuliani said to HuffPost. "Impeach him, and then you can do whatever you want to do to him."

Asked about Trump weighing whether he should pardon himself, Sen. Bob Corker said, "I don't know why any president would go down the path of talking in that manner."

"I'm very surprised that this President would talk about pardoning himself," Corker, a retiring Republican from Tennessee, told CNN. "I know he said he would never need to because he didn't do anything wrong, but why would you venture into that territory?"

A decision by Trump to pardon himself - or even his close allies like former campaign chairman Paul Manafort - could raise constitutional questions for Congress, as some Democrats have said that such pardons or the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller could be grounds for impeachment.

The second-ranking Republican in the Senate, John Cornyn of Texas, dismissed questions about Trump pardoning himself as "an academic argument."

"It sounds like a debate law students would have over what the technical power is," Cornyn told reporters on Capitol Hill on Monday. "I think it's a distraction because so far -- on a bipartisan basis -- the conclusion has been that there's no evidence of collusion and James Comey told him several times that he was not a target of investigation."

Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins said Monday that if Trump pardoned himself it would have "catastrophic implications" for him, but she declined to say whether she viewed it as an impeachable offense.

"It may well be an open question debated by constitutional scholars, but there's no doubt that if the President were ever to pardon himself it would have catastrophic implications for him and our country," she said.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham made similar remarks Monday.

"Politically, it would be a disaster," Graham said. "Legally, I don't know."

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said Monday he had not studied the issue so he would not weigh in, following an 18-second pause when he was first asked the question by reporters on Capitol Hill.

"That is not a constitutional issue I've studied, so I will withhold judgment," Cruz said after being asked a second time whether he agreed with the President that he could pardon himself.

When asked about Trump's comments Monday, GOP Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana instead talked about the President's "management style."

"The President likes to tweet," Kennedy told reporters. "If he asked me my opinion, and he hasn't, I would suggest to him that tweeting less would not cause brain damage. But he likes to tweet, and he's the President and he's entitled to do that. That's his management style."

This story has been updated.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113876

Reported Deaths: 3238
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7894177
DeSoto693279
Harrison512983
Jackson450384
Rankin389486
Madison381293
Lee351479
Forrest300778
Jones289184
Washington256499
Lafayette248343
Lauderdale2437134
Lamar224238
Oktibbeha200854
Bolivar200477
Neshoba1842111
Lowndes178362
Panola169139
Leflore165887
Sunflower160949
Warren154355
Monroe148172
Pontotoc146119
Marshall141229
Lincoln138957
Pike138256
Copiah136936
Coahoma124936
Scott124929
Yazoo121733
Grenada121638
Simpson121249
Union117425
Tate116039
Leake114640
Holmes114460
Pearl River112959
Itawamba112225
Adams107343
Prentiss104819
Wayne100821
Alcorn98712
George97918
Covington97026
Marion94642
Tippah88922
Newton85627
Chickasaw84026
Tallahatchie84025
Winston83321
Hancock81628
Tishomingo80041
Attala79026
Clarke74351
Clay68421
Jasper67917
Walthall63827
Calhoun62212
Noxubee59617
Smith59116
Montgomery54323
Claiborne53716
Tunica52917
Yalobusha52614
Lawrence51214
Perry48723
Carroll48012
Greene47318
Stone46414
Humphreys42816
Amite42113
Quitman4196
Jefferson Davis40511
Webster37013
Wilkinson33720
Benton3335
Kemper32215
Sharkey28314
Jefferson27510
Franklin2403
Choctaw2056
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22988375
Mobile16788315
Tuscaloosa10235140
Montgomery9978197
Madison922894
Shelby727463
Baldwin661569
Lee651765
Marshall437249
Calhoun422461
Etowah421450
Morgan407135
Houston371734
DeKalb336029
Elmore317353
St. Clair289142
Limestone279730
Walker275593
Talladega263635
Cullman239925
Lauderdale218042
Jackson212515
Franklin203231
Autauga203030
Colbert198731
Russell19283
Blount191125
Dallas186327
Chilton185832
Coffee173211
Escambia172230
Covington171429
Dale166551
Chambers134343
Clarke133617
Pike132713
Tallapoosa131387
Marion107129
Barbour10129
Butler100240
Marengo100222
Winston91913
Geneva8617
Lawrence83732
Pickens83618
Bibb82514
Randolph82016
Hale75830
Clay73612
Washington73412
Cherokee73114
Lowndes70428
Monroe64510
Henry6436
Bullock63917
Crenshaw60330
Perry5856
Fayette56913
Wilcox56412
Conecuh56013
Cleburne5518
Macon53020
Lamar4745
Sumter47221
Choctaw39012
Greene34216
Coosa2033
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