Could President Donald Trump pardon himself?

His tweets seem to suggest he is looking into it

Could President Donald Trump pardon himself?

Picture by: Abd Rabbo Ammar/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

US President Donald Trump appears to have confirmed this week's rumours that he has sought advice on the extent of the Commander-in-Chief's power to pardon.

The president's Saturday morning Twitter storm included this: "While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us. FAKE NEWS."

It was perhaps the most fascinating snippet of all in the now-regular weekend torrent of defensiveness and accusation.

It had been reported that Mr Trump enquired from White House lawyers about the rules for granting presidential pardons to aides or even himself.

The question of whether the president can in fact 'self-pardon' was last pondered in the Watergate days of Richard Nixon.

It involves discussions like: If a president needs to pardon himself, should he not have already resigned for whatever offence he has committed? Or does he grant the pardon on his way out of office?

The White House has done little to dampen the speculation that Mr Trump might remove the special counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI director now leading the Russia investigation.

Mr Trump is said to be frustrated that the allegations of collusion, which he labels a "hoax", continue to dog his administration and keep the focus off his legislative agenda.