02:34 GMT21 February 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - President Donald Trump’s statement that as the nation’s chief executive he has an absolute right to pardon himself contradicts a basic premise of US justice that no one is above the law, Democratic Senators Bob Casey and Jerrold Nadler stated.

    "I’ll leave the legal arguments to the constitutional scholars, but the idea that any public official could pardon themselves is contrary to our nation’s most basic values," Democratic Senator Bob Casey stated in a Twitter message. "No one is above the law, including the President of the United States."

    Jerrold Nadler, the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, provided a more expansive argument in a separate press release.

    "The president is no different from other public officials who are regularly prosecuted for taking bribes in exchange for official acts or using their office to interfere with criminal investigations," Nadler said.

    Nadler also took issue with Trump’s claim that the Mueller probe itself is unconstitutional — a claim made by former campaign aide Paul Manafort.

    "The court rejected that motion and Manafort will rightly face trial for his alleged crimes," Nadler said.

    The comments by both lawmakers followed a claim by Trump that he has an "absolute right" to pardon himself.

    Trump’s remarks on Twitter followed months of speculation, especially by pundits on US television news programs, on whether he could be indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

    READ MORE: Trump Says Has 'Absolute' Right to Pardon Himself Amid Russia Probe

    Whether a sitting US president can be indicted or can issue a self-pardon have never been tested in US courts. The Constitution itself is unclear on the issue, instead of giving Congress the authority to try a president for alleged crimes and remove the president from office.

    Robert Mueller was named to investigate allegations of collusion between aides in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian officials.

    Mueller has indicted Manafort on charges of money laundering and other financial crimes that allegedly took place years before Trump entered politics and are unrelated to Manafort’s work on the 2016 presidential campaign.

    Russia denies all allegations of collusion or otherwise meddling in the US election. Trump’s latest tweet repeated his often-stated claim that Mueller probe is a "witch hunt," a term often used to describe an investigation in search of a crime.

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    Tags:
    statement, pardon, Robert Mueller, Donald Trump, United States
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