Giuliani plays down idea of Trump self-pardon

Trump speaks to the media as he departs the Oval Office for New York City May 23,2018. Trump answered questions about his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as well as about the Robert Mueller investigation

Jim Lo Scalzo EPA via Shutterstock

Trump's team advised Mueller that the president would not agree to an interview.

The Times was the first to report on the existence of the letter, although the president appeared to foreshadow the newspaper's scoop minutes before it was published on Saturday.

Donald Trump cannot have obstructed justice as a result of he's America's high regulation enforcement officer, his legal professionals have argued based on leaked 20-page memo.

Trump's lawyers had argued in the January letter that the President could not have obstructed the probe given the powers granted to him by the Constitution, the Times report said.

Democrats took to Twitter on Saturday to slam a letter by President Donald Trump's attorneys to special counsel Robert Mueller that he could not obstruct justice in the Russian Federation probe, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer saying the argument would only be valid in a dictatorship.

"As only one of two people left who could become President, why wouldn't the Federal Bureau of Investigation or Department of "Justice" have told me that they were secretly investigating Paul Manafort (on charges that were 10 years old and had been previously dropped) during my campaign?"

Trump's lawyers stated that "the Special Counsel's inquiry has been and remains a considerable burden for the President and his Office, has endangered the safety and security of our country, and has interfered with the President's ability to both govern domestically and conduct foreign affairs". He added: "When will this very expensive Witch Hunt Hoax ever end?"

Sekulow and Dowd said that if the comments as attributed were accurate, it "does not establish that the termination was because of the Russian Federation investigation", and that "any president would not want someone he considered a "nut job" running the FBI". Is the Special Counsel/Justice Department leaking my lawyers letters to the Fake News Media?

The letter also argues that Mueller cannot force the president to answer questions on whether or not he obstructed justice because he could not possibly have done so.

Mueller's office declined to comment, while the White House and the two attorneys who wrote the letter, Jay Sekulow and John Dowd, did not reply to requests for comment.

If, for example, the president were to bribe or threaten witnesses, or just even encourage them to lie, that would be obstruction of justice, as I see it. Trump's lawyers' claim that this "would amount to obstructing himself" seems specious. The DOJ said that about $5.5 million of the cost from October through March was spent by investigators who do not report to Mueller and those expenditures would have been spent on the investigation irrespective of the special counsel's appointment.

Mr Giuliani told ABC it was an "open question" whether Mr Trump would sit for an interview with Mr Mueller, but the President's lawyers were leaning against having him testify. Trump has the power to fire Comey because of his testimony (or for any other reason).

Asked whether Trump has the power to give himself a pardon, Giuliani said, "He's not, but he probably does".

Germany announces World Cup squad, Man City star out
Kim Jong Un 'fires North Korea's top three military generals'