Offering a pardon to a defendant sure sounds — at least to me — like an attempt to obstruct justice.
He’s never discussed a pardon for Paul Manafort, President Trump said Wednesday — but it’s “not off the table.”
“It was never discussed, but I wouldn’t take it off the table. Why would I take it off the table?” the president said during an Oval Office interview.
He ripped special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe and charged that Manafort, former political adviser Roger Stone and Stone’s associate Jerome Corsi were all asked to lie by the special counsel.
“If you told the truth, you go to jail,” Trump said.
“You know this flipping stuff is terrible. You flip and you lie and you get — the prosecutors will tell you 99 percent of the time they can get people to flip. It’s rare that they can’t,” Trump said.
“But I had three people: Manafort, Corsi — I don’t know Corsi, but he refuses to say what they demanded. Manafort, Corsi and Roger Stone.”
“It’s actually very brave,” he said of the trio. “And I’m telling you, this is McCarthyism. We are in the McCarthy era. This is no better than McCarthy. And that was a bad situation for the country. But this is where we are. And it’s a terrible thing,” Trump added.
It all comes down to the simple fact that if there was no crime committed, then these people would have no reason to negotiate a plea deal and there would be no reason for Trump to offer a way out of this for his minions. But dangling a pardon in front of Manafort is basically saying, “Hey, no matter what they do to you, I’ll take care of you.”
Actually, that would apply only if Trump had the same moral scruples as Michael Corleone. But he doesn’t. Trump has screwed people out of all kinds of deals and his word isn’t worth shit. So one of the reasons Manafort and the rest are coming up with deals is because they know they’re dealing with an honest broker in Robert Mueller.