President Donald Trump asked his lawyers several weeks ago about the possibility of pardoning his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to a new report.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Trump’s legal team — which includes Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow — said it would be better to wait and see how the special counsel’s Russia investigation plays out before making any decisions about a pardon.
“We told him he should wait until all the investigations are over,” Giuliani told the Post. “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.”
Giuliani said Trump “agreed with us” in terms of delaying a pardon decision.
Manafort was convicted on eight counts of bank and tax fraud this week by an Alexandria, Virginia jury. He has a second trial scheduled for next month.
Trump bashed the verdict after it came down, and said in an interview broadcast Thursday morning that he has “great respect” for Manafort.
Giuliani told the Post that Trump “feels Manafort has been mistreated. Nobody in a case like this gets raided in the middle of the night, put in solitary confinement. They tried to crack him and it didn’t work. Over the last two to three weeks, he’s expressed anger and frustration about how he’s been treated.”
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