By Seung Min Kim | The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Monday warned President Donald Trump, with varying degrees of alarm, against entertaining the prospect of pardoning himself of any federal crime — once again forcing members of his own party into an uncomfortable position as the president openly pondered another controversial move in connection with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
In the past 24 hours, Trump and one of his attorneys, Rudy Giuliani, have argued that the president has expansive pardon powers but claimed he wouldn’t exercise that authority as Trump again openly vented about the Russia probe. That right to pardon was “absolute,” Trump insisted Monday morning in a barrage of tweets centered on the special counsel investigation.
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Nonetheless, those assertions from the president and his legal team gained little traction on Capitol Hill. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, noted that constitutional scholars have reached varying conclusions on whether a president can pardon himself, but she added that were she advising Trump, she would urge him to “never say another word about Bob Mueller’s investigation until it’s complete.”
“There’s no doubt that the president is not above the law,” Collins said Monday. “It would be a tremendous abuse of his authority if he were to do so, as well as remarkably unwise.”
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., stressed that the Constitution “doesn’t give carte blanche freedom to a president.” And Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who is leading his own investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, also took issue with Trump’s claim about his pardon powers.
“If I were president and somebody, some lawyer told me that I could do that, I’d hire a …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Politics