The Constitution grants an absolute, unilateral pardon power to the president for federal offenses and courts have upheld pardons of people even before charges had been filed, NBC News reported.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that President Donald Trump asked advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia. NBC has not confirmed the report.
Trump's lawyer, John Dowd, called the story "nonsense." "The president’s lawyers are cooperating with Mueller on behalf of the president," Dowd said.
But could the president even pardon himself? There isn't court precedent on the question, NBC News reported. The Department of Justice has in the past provided legal guidance stating that the president cannot be indicted in office, but can be indicted when he leaves office.
Federal precedent suggests a government official cannot sit in judgment of himself, but the issue is not legally settled.
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