Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Ryan warns Trump against pardoning himself

Ryan warns Trump against pardoning himself

During a press conference on Republicans' ongoing immigration debate, House Speaker Paul Ryan briefly mentioned the Trump-Russia probe, insisting that there is no evidence of collusion.

He claims the Obama administration planted "eyes and ears" in his campaign team to help Hillary Clinton win the election.

Both Gowdy and Ryan said publicly that during a recent classified briefing, they received no information substantiating Trump's claims, which the president has repeatedly invoked on social media and during his speeches in an effort to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of his campaign.

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Ryan said Gowdy's "initial assessment is accurate" and he's seen no evidence to the contrary. The statement specifically notes certain questions raised by Speaker Ryan, but does not disclose what these questions were. The full Gang of Eight - which includes the Republican and Democratic leadership in the House and Senate, as well as the top Republicans and Democrats on the Intelligence committees - received the same briefing later the same afternoon. "I'll leave it at that". Trump repeatedly tweeted about the issue, asserting there was a spy and that it was "starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in US history".

Ryan's rhetorical shift is notable, since he's previously acted as a silent partner in Trump's war on the Justice Department and FBI, dodging questions while ignoring pleas to rein in the campaign to discredit federal law enforcement officials led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.

Ryan was asked on Wednesday by reporters at the US Capitol whether Trump can legally pardon himself, most pertinently if he ends up falling foul of the Russian Federation investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller that evolved out of that early scrutiny. I think - but we have some more digging to do.

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"It would have been helpful if we'd gotten this information earlier". We are waiting for some more document requests. "I want to make sure that we run every lead down and make sure we get final answers to these questions".

Gohmert isn't the only Trump-supporting House Republican who feels that Gowdy and Ryan's comments represent a betrayal.

On the debate over whether the president can pardon himself, the speaker also echoed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's view that he was not sure of the legal answer but that "obviously, the answer is he shouldn't and no one is above the law".

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