Democrats warn Trump on pardon powers

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The president claimed the Mueller probe is unconstitutional and insisted he can pardon himself.

As President Donald Trump claims an “absolute right” to pardon himself, top Democratic lawmakers are countering with their own message: “You are not a king.”

“We don’t have a king,” Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, said Monday on the Senate floor. “We are a nation of laws, not men. That‘s what the Founding Fathers created America all about. They didn’t like the monarchies. But if a president can pardon himself, it’s virtually a monarchy at least as far as the president is concerned.”

“The restoration of King George III without his splendid education, morals, or grace,” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted, linking to Trump’s post claiming unfettered power to pardon himself for any potential crimes.

Cohen’s rejoinder followed a similar comparison by Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. Nadler asserted in a statement that no president had ever tried to pardon himself and that the framers of the Constitution believed such a notion was “inherently corrupt.”

“These men had just fought a war against a king, and had no intention of turning their new nation over to another,” Nadler wrote.

A third Democrat on the committee also rejected Trump‘s argument for a similar reason. “Let me remind you of something: We don’t live in a monarchy and you are not a king,” tweeted Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida.

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