President Donald Trump says he’s not worried about the independent counsel investigation closing in on his inner circle because he’s been sued a time or two and has way more courtroom experience than Robert Mueller has.
“One thing I know is how to sue and be sued by people,” Trump told reporters as he left for a 12-day trip to Asia.
Trump cited the experience he’s gained from the more than 2,000 times he’s been sued or has sued during his decades as a real estate developer and businessman. “I know Robert Mueller has been in a courtroom a lot as a former prosecutor and head of the FBI, but I think I’ve got him beat by about a thousand times,” Trump said. “I know my way around a courtroom, I can guarantee you that.”
In one of his most recent lawsuits, the school that bears his name was sued by former students, who called Trump University a sham that dispensed phony, worthless degrees. Those lawsuits were consolidated and settled for $25 million shortly before Trump assumed the presidency.
Trump said it’s because of “hard-won experience” like that that he doesn’t lose sleep over the Mueller investigation, evan though his onetime campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and another campaign aide have been charged with a dozen federal crimes, and a former foreign policy adviser has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
“There really hasn’t been many periods in my life that I didn’t have a lawsuit hanging over my head,” Trump said. “As far as I’m concerned, this is just another lawsuit—one that I’ll win, by the way.”
Trump said it helps that, as president, he has unlimited power to pardon people, at least for federal crimes. “I don’t think I’ll need to pardon myself, frankly,” he said. “It won’t come to that, I can say in all candor, because the whole Russia thing is fake news. But it’s nice to have that power in my back pocket, so to speak.”
In other news, the special counsel has left the door open for the attorney general of New York to pursue financial crimes against Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and even Trump himself for past financial dealings. As state crimes, those cannot be pardoned by the president.
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