Paul Ryan Gives His Opinion on Trump Pardoning Himself

'No one is above the law'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 6, 2018 11:10 AM CDT
Updated Jun 6, 2018 11:55 AM CDT
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington on Feb. 14, 2018.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – House Speaker Paul Ryan is agreeing with another senior House Republican who says there's no evidence that the FBI planted a "spy" in Donald Trump's 2016 campaign. The comments contradict the president, who has insisted the agency planted a "spy for political reasons and to help Crooked Hillary win." Both Ryan and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy attended a classified briefing last month following reports that the FBI used an informant in its Russian meddling probe to speak to members of the Trump campaign who had possible connections to Russia. Gowdy said afterward he was convinced that "the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do" and he didn't see evidence of a spy. Ryan told reporters Wednesday he believes Gowdy's "initial assessment is accurate" and he's seen no evidence to the contrary, the AP reports.

But Ryan added that Congress has more digging to do and that he wished they had gotten the information earlier. "We have some more documents to review, we still have some unanswered questions," Ryan said. Ryan also responded to a question about Trump's recent assertion that he has an "absolute right" to pardon himself if it were necessary—which he says it wouldn't be, because "I have done nothing wrong." "I don't know the technical answer to that question, but obviously the answer is he shouldn't because no one is above the law," Ryan said. Mitch McConnell made similar remarks Tuesday, Reuters reports. "Let me just tell you that from—from my perspective—I don't think the president needs any advice on pardoning himself," the Senate majority leader said. "He obviously knows that would not be something that he would or should do." (Read more Paul Ryan stories.)

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