losangelesnewstoday.com April 22, 2018

Trump Lawyer Pushed For Pardons Of Michael Flynn And Paul Manafort

29 March 2018, 01:42 | Katrina Lee

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has been charged with money laundering over his work in Ukraine

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Based on his tweets and public comments about both entities, the Russian Federation investigation and Mueller's team, those people include the president.

John Dowd, then Trump's lead lawyer, was described as floating the idea of a pardon for Manafort during the time he was under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, but had not yet been charged, sources said.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that president Trump's lawyer, John Dowd spoke with lawyers for former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort previous year.

When asked Wednesday whether Dowd did anything while representing the president that Trump objected to, Sanders did not say any talks to the Flynn and Manafort legal teams would fit that definition.

But the President discussed the subject of presidential pardons in a meeting with lawyers with the White House Counsel's office, the Times reports, citing a person who was briefed on what was discussed during the meeting.

In response to reporters' questions about the Times report, White House press secretary pointed back to Cobb's statement, adding that "there is no discussion or consideration of this at that at this time".

Flynn, a former national security adviser, pleaded guilty in December to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about contacts with the Russian ambassador and has agreed to work with the special counsel.

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The special counsel's filing also noted van der Zwaan "lied regarding topics at the center of a significant investigation into the criminal conduct of [former Trump campaign chairman] Paul J. Manafort, Jr., and Richard W. Gates III".

Of all the characters targeted by Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election, Alex van der Zwaan, minor though he may seem, will make history. In a statement to the Times, Dowd denied the report.

Mr. Dowd has said privately that he did not know why Mr. Flynn had accepted a plea, according to one of the people.

Dowd, who resigned from President Trump's legal team last Thursday, told the Times that, as far as he knew, "there were no discussions" about pardoning Flynn or Manafort. Van der Zwaan got caught, faced charges for it, pled guilty, and is now awaiting sentencing in federal court in Washington.

But it's very unlikely that the DOJ Pardon Attorney's office would play a role in any decision to issue a pardon besides creating a formal record after the fact, unless Trump wanted the advice.

Dowd has repeatedly insisted no pardon offers have been made, the newspaper reported.

"Last time I checked, the pardon power is official, not personal", Wright said. "I really do wish him well", he said.

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