Ted Cruz Lays Out Constitutional Case For President Trump Pardoning Himself

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz delivered a measured response on Monday to the notion the President Donald Trump could pardon himself.

Presidential attorney Rudy Giuliani made the claim on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday morning, telling George Stephanopoulos that Trump had not done anything wrong and had no intention of issuing a pardon to himself — but that he certainly had the power to do so.

(RELATED: Giuliani Suggests Constitution Doesn’t Forbid Trump From Pardoning Himself)

President Trump shared the sentiment, tweeting the same claim on Sunday morning as well.

Cruz appeared to agree on technicality, saying that the Constitution grants the president the right to issue pardons and lays out no stipulation regarding who can be pardoned — unless the person in question had been impeached.

Cruz noted that scholars in the past have argued that Presidents cannot pardon themselves, basing their arguments on the notion that no man can serve as a judge at his own trial — but came full circle to again point out that whatever the ethical implications, the president is not Constitutionally barred from pardoning himself.

Cruz then criticized those who were attacking him for “taking 18 seconds to respond” when they shouted the question at him as he hurried to a meeting, saying that he had intentionally ignored the question. Calling for a deeper constitutional analysis, he said, “This is not a question one should answer based on knee-jerk partisanship.”

The Texas senator concluded by saying that the debate was purely “academic” anyway, as the President had not committed any crime that would require a pardon.