A bad Sunday for Trump got worse when his own lawyer Jay Sekulow was asked about the President pardoning himself, and instead of denying that Trump committed any crimes, he said that the Supreme Court would have to decide if Trump can pardon himself.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 23, 2017
JAY SEKULOW, MEMBER, TRUMP LEGAL TEAM: Well, the president, in that Tweet, stated something that’s rather unremarkable, and that is that under “The Constitution,” under Article Two, Section Two, the president has the authority to pardon.
But I want to be clear on this, George. We have not — and that — and continue to not have conversations with the president of the United States regarding pardons. Pardons have not been discussed and pardons are not on the table.
With regard to the issue of a president pardoning himself, there’s a big academic discussion going on right now, an academic debate. You’ve got Professor Tribe arguing one point, you’ve got Professor Turley arguing another point.
And it — while it makes for interesting academic decisions, let me tell you what the legal team is not doing. We’re not researching the issue because the issue of pardons is not on the table, there’s nothing to pardon from.
Earlier in the same interview, Sekulow said that pardons aren’t being researched because there is nothing to be pardoned from, which isn’t the same as saying Trump didn’t commit a crime. Sekulow’s statement means that they aren’t researching pardons because Trump hasn’t been charged with any crimes yet.
The answer that Sekulow could have given if Trump is innocent is that the President did nothing wrong, so there is no need for a pardon. Jay Sekulow avoided directly proclaiming Trump innocence and instead gave an answer that was more based on process.
Even Trump’s own lawyer won’t go out on a limb to proclaim his client’s innocence. Jay Sekulow’s answers were interesting because what they didn’t say suggested the likely presence of criminal skeletons in Donald Trump’s closet.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association