In news that will be shocking to absolutely no one, Donald Trump has sought out advice from lawyers regarding pardoning Paul Manafort. Who leaked this info to the press this afternoon? None other than best accidental prosecutors witness ever, Rudy Giuliani.
The Washington Post is reporting that as the Manafort trial was getting underway, Trump was privately seething about how federal prosecutors had "beat up" on Manafort and treated him badly.
Giuliani claims that Trump's lawyers cautioned him against pardoning Manafort, or anyone linked to the investigation into Russia or the 2016 election interference. Giuliani said: “He said yes. He agreed with us.”
(NOTE: Giuliani has a tendency to stretch the truth, half speak and flat out lie...so this could be just another mistruth. Who knows.)
Giuliani went on to say that Trump was simply "seeking advice" about what he can do. Giuliani said:
“We told him he should wait until all the investigations are over. This [special counsel] case is a strange case. It won’t be decided by a jury. It will decided by the Justice Department and Congress and ultimately the American people. You have to be sensitive to public optics.”
So it isn't about if, it's about WHEN he starts issuing pardons to his co-conspirators and friends? And remember - Trump hasn't made his disdain for the Mueller investigation secret. He frequently laments about how the government is mistreating Manafort - who is a "good man" and says how he feels bad for him.
Trump even went so far as tweeting just a day after Manafort's conviction:
Let's see how long it takes for Donald Trump to tweet out "I hereby officially pardon Paul Manafort!!!! #Winning!"
Karoli adds: Preet Bharara sums it up: