President Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani reportedly said Sunday that Trump could shoot former FBI director James B. Comey in the Oval Office and still not be indicted for it while still serving as president.
The HuffPost reported that Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, made the assertion on a day when he conducted a series of interviews in which he discussed the expansive powers granted to the president in the Constitution.
“In no case can he be subpoenaed or indicted,” Giuliani said, according to the HuffPost. “I don’t know how you can indict while he’s in office. No matter what it is.”
Giuliani said that impeachment would be the remedy for a president’s illegal behavior, offering as an example the hypothetical case of Trump shooting Comey rather than firing him, the HuffPost reported.
“If he shot James Comey, he’d be impeached the next day,” Giuliani was quoted as saying. “Impeach him, and then you can do whatever you want to do to him.”
Giuliani, who is representing Trump amid special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, also appeared on a pair of talk shows Sunday.
On both, Giuliani argued that the president probably has the sweeping constitutional authority to pardon even himself of federal crimes.
“He probably does,” Giuliani said, when asked on ABC’s “This Week” if Trump has the ability to pardon himself. “He has no intention of pardoning himself, but he probably — not to say he can’t.”
While arguing that the president has the theoretical ability to pardon himself, Giuliani and other Trump allies on Sunday nonetheless rejected the reality of such a brash move — in part because of the political backlash they said could lead to Trump’s impeachment.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” for instance, Giuliani framed the pardon question as purely hypothetical and politically implausible.
“It’s not going to happen. It’s a hypothetical point,” he told host Chuck Todd.
Ashley Parker and Joel Achenbach contributed to this report.