Over the weekend, Donald Trump proclaimed that he had “complete power to pardon,” just weeks after his son, Trump Jr., released incriminating emails that showed alleged collusion with Russian officials. According to the Washington Post, Trump had been considering pardoning family members amid Robert Mueller’s investigation into the administration’s relationship with Russia.
However, on Sunday, Trump’s personal lawyer denied the Post’s claim, saying the team had not discussed pardons, adding that it remains unclear if presidents could pardon themselves.
Jay Sekulow appeared on ABC’s “This Week” to clear the air.
“We have not and continue to not have conversations with the president of the United States regarding pardons,” Sekulow said. “Pardons have not been discussed, and pardons are not on the table,” despite Trump’s tweet claiming to have the complete power to pardon. Instead, Sekulow said it remains unclear if a president has that power, but in Trump’s case, he will not need it.
“If put in place, [a presidential pardon] would probably have to be adjudicated by the Supreme Court to determine constitutionality,” Sekulow said. “There are academics that are arguing both sides of this. And as I said, we’re not researching it. I haven’t researched it because it’s not an issue we’re concerned with or dealing with.”