WASHINGTON (AP) — As the White House sharpened its legal and political defenses against the special counsel Russia probe, an attorney for President Donald Trump's legal team made it clear that it would combat any effort to force the president to testify in front of a grand jury.
Rudy Giuliani on Sunday underscored one of the main arguments in a newly unveiled letter sent by Trump's lawyers to special counsel Robert Mueller back in January: that a president can't be given a grand jury subpoena as part of the investigation into foreign meddling in the 2016 election.
But Giuliani, in a series of television interviews, broke with one of their bolder arguments in the letter that a president could not have committed obstruction of justice because he has ultimate authority over any federal investigation. He also played down the possibility that Trump could pardon himself, suggesting he might have that authority but would be unwise to use it.
"Pardoning himself would be unthinkable and probably lead to immediate impeachment," Giuliani told NBC's "Meet the Press." ''And he has no need to do it, he's done nothing wrong."
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. He says the president's legal team hasn't discussed that option...