Rudy Giuliani says Trump could pardon Manafort after Russia probe


"The president is not going to issue pardons in this investigation", Giuliani, Trump's lawyer, said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Until then, consideration of clemency is unnecessary, Giuliani said, as the White House presses to bring the yearlong investigation to an end. Manafort is accused of witness tampering in a criminal case that stems from his lobbying efforts for Ukraine years before he was a top Trump aide for almost five months during the 2016 campaign.

"When you read the report, it's nearly like Comey, he goes point after point about how guilty Hillary is, and then he said, 'But we're not going to do anything about it.' The IG report was a horror show, I thought that one line of conclusion was ridiculous", Trump said.

"My advice to him, as long as I'm his lawyer, is not to do it", Giuliani said Sunday, "because you'll just cloud what is becoming now a very clear picture of an extremely unfair investigation with no criminality involved of any kind".

With questions now intensifying over a potential pardon for the 69-year-old Manafort - who, if convicted, could face a sentence of many years in federal prison - Giuliani on Friday told the New York Daily News, "When the whole thing is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons".

Later, he told a different reporter that Trump will not use his pardon power while the investigation is ongoing, but may exercise it after the probe has ended. "He can pardon, in his judgment".

Giuliani raised the prospect that the president was considering pardons late last week, after former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was jailed for violating terms of his bail in Washington. Trump reacted by playing down Manafort's role in his campaign.

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Pardons have been a recurring theme in the Trump administration. He made clear on Sunday his view of Mueller's investigation, saying it was "on pretty weak grounds right now". "If Manfort is convicted, will President Trump pardon him?"

Mr Comey concealed from the Justice Department his plans to make a public announcement until the morning he did so, even though such statements are normally handled by the Justice Department, if at all, the report says.

The next day, Giuliani reiterated that the investigation should be suspended but said there should also be an investigation into Mueller's probe. The way Ronald Reagan did,"he added, when asked about conditions for a interview".

"I just said a bunch of illegal things", Mr. Giuliani said.

Mr Comey, whom Mr Trump fired shortly after taking office, bore the brunt of the report's criticism.

Rudy Giuliani told voters at a campaign rally in NY on Saturday that they have to put an end to the "possibility of a ridiculous impeachment" of President Donald Trump.