Giuliani says he advised Trump against pardoning Manafort until the Mueller investigation is over

  • Rudy Giuliani said he advised President Donald Trump against considering granting Paul Manafort a pardon until at least after special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
  • Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, was found guilty on eight felony counts earlier this week and faces up to 80 years in prison.
  • “We told him he should wait until all the investigations are over,” Giuliani said.
  • After the Manafort verdict, Trump tweeted he feels “very badly” for his former campaign chairman and his “wonderful family,” describing him as a “brave man.”

Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s lawyer, said he advised the president against considering granting Paul Manafort a pardon until at least after special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, was found guilty on eight felony counts earlier this week and faces up to 80 years in prison.

Trump reportedly consulted his advisers weeks ago on whether to pardon Manafort, before he was convicted.

“We told him he should wait until all the investigations are over,” Giuliani told The Washington 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 him on this matter at the time.

“We sat [Trump] down and said you’re not considering these other pardons with anybody involved in the investigation. He said yes, absolutely I understand,” Giuliani said.

The former New York City mayor added that he’s concerned Mueller might pursue an obstruction charge if Trump pardons Manafort or other associates caught up in the special counsel’s probe.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said pardoning Manafort was “not something that has been up for discussion.” Giuliani’s comments appear to contradict this assertion.

After the Manafort verdict earlier this week, Trump tweeted he feels “very badly” for his former campaign chairman and his “wonderful family,” describing him as a “brave man.”

Simultaneously, Trump bashed his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who earlier this week implicated the president in campaign finance violations linked to “hush money” payments to two women the president allegedly had affairs with.

Trump seems to feel Cohen betrayed him, but views Manafort as loyal.

The president tweeted, “‘Justice’ took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on [Manafort] and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ – make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.’ Such respect for a brave man!”

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