On Fox News' "Hannity" Monday, constitutional lawyer and conservative radio host Mark Levin offered an explanation for why President Trump is correct in asserting his authority to pardon himself should the special counsel "witch hunt" level charges against him.
"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 declared in a tweet Monday. "In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!"
Asked by Hannity for his expert opinion on the issue, Levin provided a lengthy response in which he explained why he believes Trump would be successful in challenging the constitutionality of the probe and why, if needed, he could "of course" pardon himself.
First, Levin questioned the constitutionality of the special counsel itself: "The problem is [Deputy Attorney General] Rosenstein conferred so much power on to [special counsel Robert Mueller] — no specific criminal statutes, no specific individuals — and his oversight is so passive and so limited as he promised he would keep his hands off of Mr. Mueller that he's created an unconstitutional special counsel. And I believe that if the president challenges that one day, he will be successful," said Levin (transcript via RCP, video below).
Levin then addressed the issue of Trump's "pardon power": "You know this memo they keep referring to on Capitol Hill, Mr. Schumer, of all people, it's two and a half pages long. Page one. Page two. Page three," he said showing the memo. "See my Xs? Those of the irrelevant parts of the memo that have nothing to do with what's going on today. You see this circle, that's it. There's one sentence in this whole thing. 'Under the fundamental rule that no one may be able to be a judge in his own case, it would seem that the question should be answered in the negative.' That is whether a president can pardon himself."
He continued: "This is not a legal document. This is a joke. Do you see all the footnotes here? There aren't any. Do you see all the case law here? There isn't any. It's a novel question because no president has ever been indicted. So why are we even discussing this pardon power? Because The New York Times, one of their reporters in one of the highlighted sections in the phony article based on the leaked letter puts in there, 'is the president saying he can pardon himself?' Of course the president can pardon himself."
For proof, Levin turned to the Constitution: "Here is the language in the Constitution, Article Two, Section Two. The president has the power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States except in cases of impeachment. Do you hear anything in there, except in the case of the president?"
The lawyer explained that the reason the president is given such power is to protect him from "the mob, from the media, from the Democrats that are a mob today."
"It's not the president who's violating the Constitution, it's the media who want the Constitution violated," said Levin. "It's the Democrats who want the Constitution violated. It's Mueller and his merry brand of Democrat prosecutors who are tipping around a constitutional confrontation. As I said here, every time I've been on your show, Sean, the Constitution is the president's friend."
Levin summed up his argument by saying that Trump is only in this position now because Rosenstein "created an unconstitutional monster who is threatening to bring the president in front of a federal grand jury, which is unconstitutional and has never been done, with this notion of obstruction of justice when he exercises his prerogatives as president, because they want to indict him, which has never been done." The only constitutional way to remove a president is through the Senate and impeachment. That's it.
"They show up in the Supreme Court, I'm betting that the president and his attorneys win," he said.