WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on whether President Donald Trump could pardon himself in the Russia probe (all times local):
President Donald Trump is calling the special counsel Russia probe "totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!"
Trump tweets on Monday: "The appointment of the Special Councel is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Despite that, we play the game because I, unlike the Democrats, have done nothing wrong!"
Trump's team has sought to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling into the 2016 election.
Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani recently said the probe may need to be curtailed because, in his estimation, it was based on inappropriately obtained information from an informant and former FBI Director James Comey's memos.
The FBI began a counterintelligence investigation in July 2016 to determine whether Trump campaign associates coordinated with Russia to tip the election. The investigation was opened after the emails were hacked from Democratic officials' accounts and published; intelligence officials later formally attributed the breach to Russia.
President Donald Trump says he has "absolute right to PARDON myself" but says has "done nothing wrong" in the Russia probe.
In a tweet Monday, Trump weighed in on the question of whether he could pardon himself should the special counsel find he interfered in the investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 election.
Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, in television interviews Sunday, suggested Trump might have that authority to pardon himself but would be unwise to use it.
Giuliani told NBC's "Meet the Press": "Pardoning himself would be unthinkable and probably lead to immediate impeachment."
Trump, in his tweet, declared: "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?"
12: 45 a.m.
Can a president pardon himself? An attorney for President Donald Trump is playing down the possibility that Trump would try to — if it came to that.
Rudy Giuliani says Trump might have that authority but exercising it would be "unthinkable." Besides, Giuliani, adds, Trump has done nothing wrong and has no need to consider pardoning himself.
Giuliani's comments come as the White House sharpens its legal and political defenses against the special counsel Russia probe.
He made it clear Trump's legal team would combat any effort to force the president to testify in front of a grand jury.