A Justice Department official said yesterday Congress would interfere with President Nixon's powers if it granted amnesty for Vietnam war deserters and draft evaders.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General Leon Ulman told a congressional hearing that "Congress cannot abridge, impair or restrict the president's pardoning power."
"My conclusion is that it is quite difficult to say that Congress has the constitutional power to legislate amnesty," he added.
Ulman made his remarks before a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee that is considering possible amnesty legislation.
A second witness urged Congress to reject comprehensive amnesty on the grounds it might lead to a wholesale refusal to serve in the armed forces if Selective Service reinstated the draft.
"General amnesty for past violators might well convince some young men in the future that they had little to lose by evading military service." Selective Service general counsel Walter H. Morse '48, said at the hearings yesterday.
Subcommittee chairman Robert W. Kastenmeier (D-Wis.) said an amnesty would cover at least 206,775 draft law violators and 28,000 deserters.