On Sunday, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, — who has become Trump’s most prolific public mouthpiece in the Russia collusion investigation — told ABC News that Trump could “probably” issue himself a pardon for any crimes uncovered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The 74-year-old former New York City mayor made an even more stunning claim about Trump’s power to remain out of Mueller’s reach.
As Axios reported, Russia investigation Special Counsel Robert Mueller is believed to have Trump under investigation for possible obstruction of justice, particularly for Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey in May of 2017. Trump told NBC News‘ Lester Holt that he had the Russia investigation in his mind when he made the decision to fire Comey, though he has recently switched his story, denying his own televised worlds to claim that he did not fire Comey due to the Russia investigation.
But according to what Giuliani told the Huffington Post on Sunday, it doesn’t matter why Trump fired Comey, he cannot be indicted for obstruction as long as he occupies the nation’s chief executive job. In fact, Giuliani claimed, even if Trump had pulled out a gun and shot Comey, he still could not be indicted.
“In no case can he be subpoenaed or indicted,” Rudy Giuliani told the news site. “I don’t know how you can indict while he’s in office. No matter what it is.”
In January of 2016, as the presidential campaign was moving toward the early primaries, Trump publicly claimed that he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” CNN captured the shocking assertion on video.
While not making any claims about how voters would react, Giuliani expanded on Trump’s theme of his ability to shoot people without suffering consequences, telling HuffPo that Trump could have shot Comey and still escaped indictment. But he would likely be impeached, Giuliani said.
“If he shot James Comey, he’d be impeached the next day,” Giuliani told the site. “Impeach him, and then you can do whatever you want to do to him.”
Giuliani’s claim was met with disbelief by an expert on presidential ethics, Brooking Institute Scholar Norm Eisen, a former White House ethics attorney.
“A president could not be prosecuted for murder? Really? It is one of many absurd positions that follow from their argument. It is self-evidently wrong,” Eisen said, according to MediaIte. “The foundation of America is that no person is above the law.”
On Saturday, the New York Times published a memo sent by Trump’s lawyers, Jay Sekulow and John Dowd, to Mueller in January. In that memo, the lawyers claimed that not only was Trump immune from indictment for obstructing the Russia investigation, but that he, himself, is the lead investigator.
“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,” the lawyers wrote, as reported by the Inquisitr.