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Trump discussed pardoning Paul Manafort, Fox News host claims

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Paul Manafort
President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul
Manafort.

Drew
Angerer/Getty


  • President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani
    talked about the pros and cons of pardoning Trump’s former
    campaign chairman Paul Manafort, The New York Times reported on
    Wednesday.
  • Manafort was convicted on eight counts of financial
    fraud a day earlier.
  • Trump has since distanced himself from Manafort and
    asserted that “it doesn’t involve me,” when asked about the
    crimes for which Manafort was convicted.

President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani talked about
the pros and cons of pardoning Trump’s former campaign chairman
Paul Manafort,
The New York Times reported
on Wednesday.

According to the newspaper, Giuliani echoed Trump’s assertion
that he believes Manafort was treated “horribly” by the justice
system.

On Tuesday, Manafort was convicted on eight counts of financial
fraud. He was charged with 18 counts, but the judge declared a
mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict for ten
counts.

Trump has since distanced himself from Manafort and said “it
doesn’t involve me.”

“But it’s a very sad thing that happened,” Trump said. “This has
nothing to with Russian collusion.”

In several tweets on Wednesday morning,
Trump referred to Manafort as “a brave man,” and contrasted his
behavior with that of Michael Cohen, his longtime personal
attorney, who implicated Trump as a participant in his crimes in
a plea deal he signed a day earlier.

Cohen claimed that his campaign finance violations, related to a
$130,000 payment made to the porn star Stormy Daniels in exchange
for her silence — were made “at the direction of the candidate”
with “the purpose of influencing the election.” Lanny Davis,
Cohen’s attorney, later confirmed that candidate was Trump.

A pardon for Manafort would not be an unprecedented action from
Trump. During his tenure, he pardoned Joe Arpaio, the
controversial Arizona sheriff who took up an anti-immigration
stance, and Dinesh D’Souza, a right-wing personality who pleaded
guilty to campaign finance fraud.

But the inherent risk tied to a Manafort pardon is not lost on
Giuliani and Trump, according to The Times’ report, which said
Trump was “uncertain about the political fallout” from such a
move.

Manafort will face a new judge and jury in another trial in
September on charges including obstructing justice and failing to
register as a foreign agent.

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