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Trump Says Has 'Absolute Right' To Pardon Himself In Russia Probe

U.S. President Donald Trump (file photo)

U.S. President Donald Trump says he has "the absolute right" to pardon himself in an inquiry about possible collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, and reiterated his claim of innocence.

"As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?" Trump tweeted.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating since May 2017 whether Russia interfered in the campaign, whether there was any contact between Russian officials and members of Trump's campaign team, and whether he obstructed justice.

Trump also asserted that Mueller's appointment was a breach of the constitution.

"The appointment of the Special Councel [sic] is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Despite that, we play the game because I, unlike the Democrats, have done nothing wrong!" Trump tweeted.

Trump's statement comes after one of his lawyers, Rudy Giuliani, argued on June 3 that the president "probably" had the power to pardon himself.

But Giuliani cautioned that such a gesture would have "tough" political ramifications.

In January, Trump's lawyers argued in a letter to Mueller that Trump "could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired."

Trump has repeatedly denied collusion while Russia has denied any interference in the election.

With reporting by AFP, dpa, and The New York Times