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Rudy Giuliani: President Trump could pardon himself, but he probably wouldn’t

US House Speaker Paul Ryan says President Donald Trump should not pardon himself, becoming the second Republican leader in congress to baulk at the president's assertion that he had "absolute" power to do so.

Trump's suggestion that he could legally pardon himself followed a New York Times report on Saturday that his personal lawyers argued in a memo to Mueller that the president could not have obstructed justice because he has vast authority over all federal investigations.

Critics have raised the question of whether Trump is sending a signal to his former allies and aides who are facing criminal charges in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation with his robust use of his pardoning power. "And he has no need to do it, he's done nothing wrong".

Earlier, Trump tweeted, "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?" He then again decried special counsel Robert Mueller's probe as a "never ending Witch Hunt". "We were Republicans and Democrats appointed by a Republican U.S. Attorney during the Nixon administration".

Trump's legal team is making clear that it will combat any effort to force the president to testify in front of a grand jury.

The talk of self-pardoning has raised eyebrows amid the roiling debate over the Russian Federation meddling inquiry and the president's cooperation - or lack of it. Trump has issued a series of ever-sharper tweets attacking the Mueller probe as politically motivated and insisting there was "no collusion" between his campaign team and Russian Federation.

In one instance he quoted Chief Justice John Marshall, who once said that pardoning "is an act of grace, proceeding from the power intrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual, on whom it is bestowed, from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed".

Nonetheless, Giuliani said he remains in touch with Mueller, and that there have been discussions about allowing investigators to question the president.

Giuliani told NBC's "Meet the Press": "Pardoning himself would be unthinkable and probably lead to immediate impeachment".

The White House has started paperwork to pardon at least 30 people, according to two sources.

A January letter from Trump's lawyers to the special counsel investigating Russian meddling says Trump "dictated a short but accurate response" about the meeting.

Mr Giuliani said a decision about an interview would not be made until after Mr Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore, and he cast doubt that it would occur at all. "And that's what we call in America framing somebody", Giuliani said.

Giuliani used strong words like "hypocrisy" and "scoundrels" during his exclusive 700 Club interview with CBN Founder Pat Robertson.

Though past presidents have typically waited until the end of their term to pardon controversial figures, Trump has pardoned five people during his 17 months in office.

He continued: "I think that what Rudy has done is a shame and a disgrace as a former USA attorney, and as a former justice official, he knows better, and it's an outright lie".

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