The Report: Part XIII: Pardons On The Table
October 31, 2019 8:46 AM - Subscribe

It's January 2018. Paul Manafort and Rick Gates are in a whole lot of trouble. The past is catching up to them. Three months earlier, they'd both been indicted on multiple felony counts and now it looks like there might be even more charges coming. Gates is getting nervous--they're facing many years in prison. Manafort tells Gates to relax. He's talked to the president's personal counsel. He says they're going to "take care of us." Manafort tells Gates he'd be stupid to plead guilty now, "just sit tight, we'll be taken care of." Gates wants to be crystal clear on what exactly Manafort's getting at. So he asks: Is the president going to pardon them?

This episode covers the President’s numerous attempts to stop his imperiled former aides from cooperating with Mueller’s team. As President, Trump has a unique weapon in his arsenal: the pardon power. Through private overtures from his lawyer and a collection of curious public comments, Trump tries to signal to his old friends: if you stay quiet, there might just be a pardon waiting for you. The President’s efforts fails with Flynn, but the President remains ambivalently supportive of his former National Security Advisor. His former campaign manager Paul Manafort is also in big trouble and Manafort says the president’s lawyers told him that Trump would “take care” of him. During Manafort’s trial, with the help of Rudy Giuliani, the president begins a public campaign about the “unfair” treatment of Manafort. And there’s another witness Trump tries to sway—the defendant’s name is redacted, but it is almost certainly former campaign aide Roger Stone. Lots of his friends are in hot water, and Trump wants to get his hands on the scale of justice.
posted by General Malaise (1 comment total)
This one gives us an obstruction of justice charge that might at first seem a clearer win than some of the previous ones: the president's potential to pardon anybody who has damaging information. But, it's actually not that clear-cut. This is one of those episodes where you're glad they're coming at it from a richly legal view.
posted by General Malaise at 8:48 AM on October 31, 2019

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