Rudy: Recent Pardons Not A Signal To Embattled Trump Aides

Rudy: Recent Pardons Not A Signal To Embattled Trump Aides
Rudy: Recent Pardons Not A Signal To Embattled Trump Aides
Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

Former Trump campaign aides currently subject to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation should not read recent high-profile pardons as a promise of clemency, Rudy Giuliani said Sunday.

Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Giuliani, now President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, denied that the president was sending a signal to embattled former aides like Paul Manafort or Michael Flynn, who have been indicted for process crimes like lying to federal investigators.

“I don’t think that’s the interpretation,” he said. “It’s certainly not intended that way.”


Giuliani added that Manafort and Flynn are not ineligible for pardons, but cautioned that the bar for clemency is probably higher for individuals implicated in the Mueller probe.

Since taking office, Trump has pardoned several high-profile supporters, including former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza. Some observers have suggested that the pardons were an unsubtle message to former confidants now facing criminal prosecution, particularly because they were granted outside of normal processes.

By this reading of events, the pardons are meant to show former aides that Trump is willing to issue relief on his own initiative, without the lengthy process that typically attends the issuance of executive clemency. (RELATED: Exclusive: D’Souza Tells Backstory Of His Pardon)

As a general matter, clemencies are recommended following a review by the White House counsel and the Office of the Pardon Attorney at the Department of Justice. In the Arpaio and D’Souza cases, the process was initiated by Trump himself, after aides, lawmakers, or supporters privately lobbied the president on the convict’s behalf.

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