Giuliani: Trump Asked Lawyers For Opinions On Pardoning Manafort, Before Verdict

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 30: FILE PHOTO From left, GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump, campaign manager Paul Manafort and Rick Gates stand on stage during their podium check early Thursday afternoon in preparatio... UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 30: FILE PHOTO From left, GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump, campaign manager Paul Manafort and Rick Gates stand on stage during their podium check early Thursday afternoon in preparation for accepting the GOP nomination to be President at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) MORE LESS

Weeks ago, President Donald Trump asked his lawyers for their advice on a potential pardon for his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who this week was found guilty on eight counts related to financial crimes, and was apparently prevented by one juror of being found guilty on the remaining 10 charges against him.

Trump’s lawyers advised him against a pardon, Rudy Giuliani told the Washington Post Thursday.

“We told him he should wait until all the investigations are over,” Giuliani told the Post, referring to himself and Jay Sekulow. “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.”

“He said yes,” Giuliani added. “He agreed with us.”

Manafort spokesperson Jason Maloni declined TPM’s request for comment.

Trump’s pardoning Manafort would not only send a message to other subjects of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe — namely, that you will be rewarded for not cooperating with the investigation — but would also be yet another instance of the President pardoning his allies, including former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and conservative provocateur Dinesh D’Souza.

“He feels Manafort has been mistreated. Nobody in a case like this gets raided in the middle of the night, put in solitary confinement,” Giuliani said. “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.”

Tierney Sneed contributed reporting. 

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