The president of the United States, Donald Trump, said he has the “absolute right” to forgive himself in the Russian inquiry while insisting that he has done nothing wrong.
He echoed the argument that his lawyers made in a January memo to the special US attorney who led the investigation.
In his tweet, Trump once again railed against the investigation into whether his election campaign had conspired with Russia or obstructed justice.
Constitutional scholars are divided over whether a president can forgive himself.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018
The “13 Democrats” Mr. Trump refers to appear to be among the 17 investigators on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, but it unclear to whom he is referring.
Some of the investigators on Mr. Mueller’s team have previously registered as Democrats and nine of them have made financial donations to the Democratic Party in the past, according to US media reports.
Mr. Mueller is a Registered Lifetime Republican who was elected by Republican President George W. Bush to serve as director of the FBI.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mr. Mueller to head the Russian investigation, is also a registered Republican.
In accordance with federal guidelines, Department of Justice managers is prohibited from considering the political affiliation of employees when choosing their assignments.
Also on Monday morning, a reporter asked White House counselor Kellyanne Conway why the president was talking about forgiving himself.
She replied: “Why would he need to pardon himself if he’s done nothing wrong? You just like to engage in these hypothetical exercises constantly.
“I presume it’s easier than understanding the ins and outs of North Korea and trade policy.”
Mr Trump’s tweet comes a day after one of his lawyers addressed the self-pardon issue on the Sunday talk shows.
Rudy Giuliani told ABC’s This Week programme that Mr. Trump “has no intention of pardoning himself”, while adding that he “probably does” have that power.
Mr. Giuliani told NBC’s Meet the Press: “Pardoning himself would be unthinkable and probably lead to immediate impeachment.
“And he has no need to do it, he’s done nothing wrong.”
But speaking on CNN on Sunday, House Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said no president should pardon himself.