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President Trump wants to actively commit Obstruction of Justice through the pardoning process. This is absurd that an elected official has this authority not to mention that President Trump is an indirect target of the investigation.


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President Donald Trump reportedly discussed pardoning Paul Manafort even before his former campaign chairman was convicted on federal charges this week, yet another indication that the president is ready and willing to intervene in the special counsel investigation into his campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

 

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told The Washington Post on Thursday that Trump had asked his attorneys several weeks ago about pardoning Manafort. Giuliani said they had advised him to hold off until special counsel Robert Mueller had concluded his probe.

 

Trump has made it abundantly clear in recent days that he believes his former campaign chairman was mistreated, and he praised Manafort for being “brave” and refusing to “break” despite all of the charges he faced. Last week, while the jury was still deliberating, Trump brushed off a question about whether he’d pardon Manafort but called the situation “very sad.”

 

Manafort, 69, was convicted Tuesday on eight tax and bank fraud charges. A single juror prevented his conviction on the other 10 counts, according to a Trump supporter who sat on the jury. Manafort will face yet another trial in D.C. next month on separate charges, including one involving a rarely enforced law requiring foreign agents to register with the Justice Department.

 

Giuliani, who did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment, told the Post that there was a concern that Mueller “would turn any pardon into an obstruction charge” against the president.

Paul Manafort, then chairman of the Trump campaign, at an event on June 22, 2016.

DREW ANGERER VIA GETTY IMAGES

Paul Manafort, then chairman of the Trump campaign, at an event on June 22, 2016.

There’s reason for Trump’s team to be concerned. Despite his convictions, Manafort still likely holds information that would be valuable to Mueller’s team. It’s unusual for defendants to reach an agreement with prosecutors to cooperate after they’ve already been convicted at trial, but it’s not impossible.

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