michael cohen paul manafortPresident Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen; and his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.Associated Press/Craig Ruttle; Associated Press/Alex Brandon; Business Insider

  • President Donald Trump’s longtime fixer and his former campaign chairman were both convicted of crimes on Tuesday.
  • The Constitution grants the president sweeping powers to pardon people or grant clemency.
  • Trump has granted clemency to nine people so far, and he could pardon Paul Manafort or Michael Cohen if he chose.

Two of President Donald Trump’s former close associates were convicted of a slew of financial crimes on Tuesday, immediately prompting speculation over the possibility of another presidential pardon.

Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight crimes, ranging from tax evasion to illegal campaign finance contributions, and his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was convicted by a jury of tax fraud, bank fraud, and failing to report foreign bank accounts.

Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, appeared to take the option of a presidential pardon off the table Wednesday morning, telling NPR that Cohen “is not interested in being dirtied by a pardon from such a man.”

But the possibility remains open for Manafort, and Trump triggered further speculation after posting a sympathetic tweet on Wednesday morning.

“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. ‘Justice’ took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ – make up stories in order to get a ‘deal,'” Trump wrote. “Such respect for a brave man!”

Pardons are a form of executive clemency granted to the president by the Constitution — and that power is sweeping.

Trump can decide carte blanche to legally forgive or free anyone, so long as the crimes were federal ones.

Pardons essentially forgive people who have been convicted of crimes, removing any remaining punishments and restoring their rights. Commutations, on the other hand, merely reduce a prisoner’s sentence.

If Trump pardoned Cohen or Manafort, the move would fall in line with the president’s recent trend of granting clemency to political allies, as well as people who have been championed by conservative media, prominent Republicans, or celebrities.

Here’s who Trump has granted clemency to in the past: