What President Trump’s team is saying on pardons
By Eli Watkins
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s new communications director and a member of his legal team said Sunday that Trump has no need to use his pardoning power as it relates to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
But, according to communications director Anthony Scaramucci, Trump has at least been mulling the power.
When asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” who the President is considering pardoning, Scaramucci said “nobody.”
“The President is thinking about pardoning nobody,” Scaramucci said. “The President is not going to have to pardon anybody because the Russian thing is a nonsensical thing.”
But Scaramucci also said on “Fox News Sunday”: “I’m in the Oval Office with the President last week, we’re talking about that.”
He continued: “He doesn’t have to be pardoned. There’s nobody around him that has to be pardoned. He was just making a statement about the power of pardon.”
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Trump had asked his legal team about the pardoning authority, and whether he could use it on himself.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted, “While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us. FAKE NEWS”
Jay Sekulow, a member of Trump’s legal team, said on ABC’s “This Week” that there was no need for Trump to pardon anyone.
“We’re not researching the issue, because the issue of pardons is not on the table,” Sekulow said. “There’s nothing to pardon from.”
But while Scaramucci said he spoke with Trump about pardons in the Oval Office last week, Sekulow repeatedly said there was no talk of pardons among the legal team.
“Pardons have not been discussed,” Sekulow said. “And pardons are not on the table.”
Although the President’s pardon power is broad, no one in the office has ever used it on himself, and whether Trump could do so successfully remains an open question.
Sekulow said if it ever happened, the courts would likely have to get involved.
“Whether it would apply to the President himself, well, I think, ultimately, would be a matter for a court to decide,” Sekulow said.