Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday that President Trump likely has the power to pardon himself under the U.S. Constitution.
The Kentucky Republican’s interpretation of the Constitution comes after the president tweeted about having the “complete power to pardon” on Saturday, and after The Washington Post reported that Mr. Trump discussed pardons with his advisers.
The question about whether Mr. Trump has the authority to pardon himself is being debated as the investigation into whether his campaign colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election heats up, and it has legal scholars debating the issue.
“I think in all likelihood he does,” Mr. Paul said during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think that some of this hasn’t been adjudicated.”
Mr. Paul said he understands the president is frustrated with the constant allegations of collusion, but he cautioned him from thinking about pardoning family members or himself.
But Jay Sekulow, one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, said the issue would likely end up at the U.S. Supreme Court, and he told ABC’s “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos that no one from the legal team is researching pardoning powers for the president.
“The issue of pardons is not on the table. There’s nothing to pardon from,” Mr. Sekulow said Sunday. “We’re not researching it, I haven’t researched it because it’s not an issue were concerned with or dealing with.”