Trump's Lawyer Proposed Pardons for Flynn and Manafort

Trump's Lawyer Proposed Pardons for Flynn and Manafort

Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia's ambassador and is cooperating with Mueller's investigation.

The White House has denied a report claiming that a lawyer for President Trump raised the prospect of pardoning former advisers Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort as the Federal Bureau of Investigation special counsel was building cases against them.

One of U.S. President Donald Trump's attorneys floated the possibility of pardoning two of the president's former advisers caught up in the Russian Federation probe in discussions with their lawyers previous year.

When asked Wednesday whether Dowd did anything while representing the president that Trump objected to, Sanders did not say any talks to the Flynn and Manafort legal teams would fit that definition.

"He's got a statement on the record saying that there's no discussion and there's no consideration of those at this time at the White House", she said.

In emails exchanged between Department of Justice employees working for the Office of the Pardon Attorney, they concluded that if Trump decided one day to tweet out a presidential pardon, the Department of Justice would probably "have very little if any involvement", wrote Jennifer K. Mills, a former supervisory paralegal.

The president has long said both publicly and privately that he believes the case against his former national security adviser is thin, and that Flynn was unjustly targeted in what he characterizes as a politically-motivated "witch hunt". Instead, Mueller has indicted Gates and Manafort on charges related to their consulting work for former Ukrainian prime minister Viktor Yanukovych.

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A document filed late Tuesday by the special counsel said that an unnamed person former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates was talking to before the election was a former Russian intelligence officer, a fact known to Gates at the time.

Dowd, however, denied reports that he discussed any such pardons.

At issue are conversations John Dowd, who left Trump's outside legal team last week, allegedly had with the attorneys for Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort. The White House initially said Flynn was sacked because he misled Vice President Mike Pence about conversations he had with Sergei Kislyak, then Russia's ambassador to the U.S., during the presidential transition period in 2016.

Dowd, Trump defense lawyer Jay Sekulow, and White House counsel Ty Cobb all told The Times that there had been no discussions of possible pardons for Manafort and Flynn at any point during the investigation.

The White House and Trump's lawyers have regularly argued that the president is not considering pardons.

The Times first reported Dowd floated the idea of pardons with lawyers for Manafort and Flynn. "As far as I know, no discussions". "This is all my personal opinion, and I stand by it".

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