Trump’s Lawyer Says He Can “Probably” Pardon Himself If Shit Hits The Fan

Hello! Here I am on a bright Monday morning with yet another dispatch from the beautiful dystopia the world finds itself in today. Donald Trump‘s lawyer Rudy Giuliani backed a memo from the president’s legal team that he actually can’t be compelled to give evidence in front of a grand jury about the alleged links between his campaign and the Russian government. In fact, Giuliani says, Trump can just pardon himself if shit gets too hairy.

Yes, that’s right. On Saturday, the New York Times posted a January memo from Trump’s legal team which argues the president basically can’t be compelled to testify because the Constitution empowers him to be the ultimate legal authority. According to the memo, Trump could “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”

This is obviously a big claim – we’ve not seen any actually super-compelling evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia despite tons of circumstantial indications, but it’s still very unnerving that the president’s legal team are convinced he can just pardon himself if special investigator Robert Mueller takes it before a grand jury.

Speaking to NBC‘s Meet The Press, Giuliani – who is Trump’s personal attorney – backed the claims made in the memo, saying the president “probably” has the power to pardon himself, even if it “would be tough.”

Giuliani clarified that he didn’t think Trump needed to do it, because he has “done nothing wrong“. He also emphasised that doing so would be “unthinkable and probably lead to immediate impeachment”.

In another interview with ABC, Giuliani also said that Trump is probably not going to meet with Mueller, unless it was a very minor interaction:

I mean, we’re leaning toward not. But look, if they can convince us that it will be brief, it would be to the point, there were five or six points they have to clarify, and with that, we can get this – this long nightmare for the … for the American public … over.

Ah, wonderful. Trump pardoning himself rather than having to face a grand jury seems like exactly the sort of thing our terrible timeline would throw at us, but we’ll just have to wait and see.