A member of President Donald Trump’s legal team on Sunday said pardons are not on the table for Trump and his associates, despite reports that the President has inquired into his power to grant them, because “there’s nothing to pardon from.”
“We have not, and continue to not, have conversations with the President of the United States regarding pardons. Pardons have not been discussed, and pardons are not on the table,” Jay Sekulow, an attorney on Trump’s outside legal team, said on ABC News’ “This Week.”
He said Trump’s tweet on Sunday declaring his ability to grant pardons was “rather unremarkable.”
Trump’s declaration of his “complete power to pardon” came amid reports that his aides are looking for ways to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“With regard to the issue of a President pardoning himself, there’s a big academic discussion going on right now,” Sekulow said. “Let me tell you what the legal team is not doing. We’re not researching the issue, because the issue of pardons is not on the table. There’s nothing to pardon from.”
He said whether Trump could pardon himself would “ultimately” be a question for the Supreme Court, since there is no precedent.
“Clearly the Constitution does vest a plenary pardon power within the presidency. Whether it would apply to the President himself I think ultimately would be a matter for a court to decide,” Sekulow said. “It’s a question that ultimately, if put in place, would have to be adjudicated by the Supreme Court to determine constitutionality.”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) July 23, 2017