Trump May Pardon Manafort 🚓
In an interview with the NY Post yesterday, President Trump said that - while he has never discussed pardoning his former campaign manager (who is facing charges of conspiracy to defraud the US) - he “wouldn’t take it off the table”.
Angling for a pardon?
Manafort has already been convicted of tax fraud, but he made a plea deal with the government: he’d cooperate with Mueller's Russia investigation in exchange for leniency. That deal blew up this week when Mueller accused Manafort of violating the plea deal by lying to investigators about Trump/Russia/etc.
The left believe a pardon for Manafort would be a mistake or even a crime - argue that if the President does issue a pardon, he’ll likely be impeached. Articles from this side argue that even discussing the possibility of a pardon with Manafort or his lawyers would be evidence of witness tampering and/or obstruction of justice by the president.
Talking Points Memo: Trump On Manafort Pardon: ‘Why Would I Take It Off The Table?’
The right reports on what the president said, but does not editorialize whether a pardon would be acceptable. They mostly echo the arguments the President made in the NY Post interview in a way that implies they agree that a pardon shouldn't be taken off the table.
What's going on here?
It's starting to feel like the Mueller investigation may yield an outcome soon. Pardoning Manafort could be Trump's version of Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre: the spark that lit the fire that ended his presidency. If Trump chooses to pardon Manafort, he’ll need to make sure he can put out the fire.
If Trump pardon's Manafort
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