Giuliani told Trump not to pardon Manafort until Mueller probe is done
- Author: Rogelio Becker Aug 25, 2018,
Aug 25, 2018, 1:27
August has been a very bad month for President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who on August 21, was convicted of eight criminal charges (including tax evasion and bank fraud) in a federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia.
Duncan also described the prosecution team as seeming "a little bored" during the proceedings.
The jury returned the decision after deliberating four days on tax and bank fraud charges against Manafort, who led Trump's election effort during a crucial stretch of 2016, including as he clinched the Republican nomination and during the party's convention. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.
Duncan said the holdout juror, a woman, despite the remaining jurors trying to convince her otherwise, refused to agree that Manafort was guilty on the 10 counts; she had reasonable doubt, Duncan said.
Five Trump associates have now pleaded guilty or been charged with crimes in Russia-related or spinoff investigations. But defense lawyer Kevin Downing warned that Manafort's right to a fair trial was at stake and pushed for thorough questioning, saying "we obviously would not agree that it's a small thing" to have "jurors making comments on the weakness of the defense".
"I think that they used Manafort to try to get the dirt on Trump or hoping that he would flip on Trump", she said. The Washington Post reported Thursday that Trump did seek his lawyers' advice about a possible Manafort pardon.
"Any attempt by the President to pardon Mr. Manafort or interfere in the investigation into his campaign would be a gross abuse of power and require immediate action by Congress", Warner, whose committee has been investigating Russian Federation and the 2016 US election campaign, said in a statement. Jurors are not supposed to discuss the case until they've heard all the evidence and begin deliberations.
"To date, all of the charges against Cohen and Manafort are federal offenses but that does not preclude state authorities from bringing subsequent charges to the extent the wrongdoing constitutes a crime under state law", Griffin said. "The real concern", explains Giuliani, "is whether Mueller would turn any pardon into an obstruction charge".
"It's called flipping and it nearly ought to be illegal", Trump said.
Some of the most dramatic testimony came from Rick Gates, Manafort's longtime deputy, who reached a plea deal with Mueller's team and testified against his former boss.
Giuliani did tell Fox News that during the conversation about pardons, Trump mentioned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn. But neither Mr. Manafort nor Mr. Cohen are believed to be cooperating with the Special Counsel - situations that could change now that they face years in prison. "Nobody in a case like this gets raided in the middle of the night, put in solitary confinement", Giuliani said. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) think Attorney General Jeff Sessions is on his way out - and they seem ready to replace him. "Over the last two to three weeks, he's expressed anger and frustration about how he's been treated".