Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani defended the president's statements, and told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that while Trump most likely will not pardon himself or shut down Robert Mueller's investigation he could do so if he wanted to.

It's the latest salvo from Trump in his bid to discredit the ongoing probe by special counsel Robert Mueller.

"I am even more convinced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump", Gowdy said after the briefing last month. "We were Republicans and Democrats appointed by a Republican U.S. Attorney during the Nixon administration".

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.

Lindsey Graham, the senator from SC who was one of the House managers during the impeachment proceedings against former president Bill Clinton, advised the president and other relevant people not to "obstruct justice", the report added.


Yet the former New York City mayor, who was not on the legal team when the letter was written, added that Trump "probably does" have the power to pardon himself, an assertion challenged by legal scholars.

"The President fired the FBI director, the President has the right to fire the FBI director, the President should have fired the FBI director", Giuliani said.

The pardon for Johnson could come as early as Tuesday, and the paperwork was being finalized Tuesday morning, according to a person familiar with the discussions. But many Republican lawmakers say that if Trump were to pardon himself it would be political "suicide".

The letter is dated January 29 and addressed to Mr Mueller from John Dowd, a Trump lawyer who has since resigned from the legal team. He said he has informally made the request, but gotten no response.

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.


"That is no [questioning] under oath, only a Q&A, and then we get the questions in advance, and they write the report two weeks before", Giuliani said.

"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 long nightmare for the American public over".

"It is pointing out that the president is the stronger figure", Giuliani told the AP.

Asked whether Trump can legally pardon himself, Ryan told reporters at the US Capitol: "I don't know the technical answer to that question but obviously he shouldn't".

"President Trump, you went 0 for 2 on the Constitution this morning", Schumer said on the Senate floor on Monday afternoon. And one of the articles of impeachment prepared against President Richard Nixon in 1974 was for obstruction.


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