Donald Trump has already abused his power to pardon Joe Arpaio from going to jail for six months after racially profiling Latinos in Arizona. Now, according to Politico, prosecutors are growing concerned that Trump will pardon Paul Manafort from being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller.
“State and federal prosecutors believe the prospect of a presidential pardon could affect whether Manafort decides to cooperate with investigators in the federal Trump investigation, said one of the people familiar with the matter,” Politico explained. “While Trump has not signaled any public intention to pardon Manafort or anyone else involved in the Russia investigations, the president has privately discussed his pardon powers with his advisers.”
Mueller has teamed up with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in investigating Manafort, but this cooperation could potentially circumvent a Trump pardon.
“The cooperation is the latest indication that the federal probe into President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman is intensifying,” Politico concluded. “It also could potentially provide Mueller with additional leverage to get Manafort to cooperate in the larger investigation into Trump’s campaign, as Trump does not have pardon power over state crimes.”
Back in November, Schneiderman won a $25 million settlement from Trump University.
“One of the people familiar with progress on the case said both Mueller’s and Schneiderman’s teams have collected evidence on financial crimes, including potential money laundering,” Politico reported. “The New York prosecutor’s office also is looking into some of Trump’s business transactions and could potentially share those records with Mueller’s team, one of these people said.”