Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer predicted Sunday that a "cataclysm" could be triggered if President Trump fires Special Counsel Robert Mueller or pardons himself.
The high-ranking senator from New York made the comments on Sunday during an interview on ABC’s This Week despite Trump’s lawyers saying on the same program that pardons are not being discussed.
"It would be one of the greatest, greatest breaking of rule of law, of traditional democratic norms of what our democracy is about," Schumer said. "It would cause a cataclysm in Washington.''
A sitting president may have constitutional power to grant pardons but Trump’s legal team claims they have not discussed it with him.
"We're not researching the issue because the issue of pardons is not on the table,'' Jay Sekulow, one of Trump's personal attorneys, said on ABC. ”There's nothing to pardon from.''
The president and his inner circle are facing Congressional and FBI investigations for possible collusion with Russia in its interference with the 2016 presidential election. Mueller is also examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump's businesses as well as those of his associates, a person familiar with the probe said.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Trump suggested that Mueller would be crossing a “red line” if he looked into the allegations. He also mentioned pardons in a series of tweets on Saturday.
The president also suggested on Twitter that Mueller and his legal team have conflicts of interest of their own, because of donations made to Democratic candidates.
Trump’s incoming White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said on Fox News Sunday that the president brought up the issue of pardons in the Oval Office recently, but that he does not need to use it.
"There's nobody around him that has to be pardoned,'' Scaramucci said. “He was just making the statement about the power of pardons.''
Sekulow also said on Sunday that Trump's legal team is monitoring potential conflicts even though they have not made an issue with the deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein appointing Mueller after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation.
"We're going to be constantly evaluating that situation,'' Sekulow said on ABC. "And if an investigation were to arise and we thought that the conflict was relevant, we would raise it without question.''