Blumenthal: A Manafort Pardon Would Send the Message ‘You Can Break the Law’ And ‘Be Rewarded’ by POTUS
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell it would send the wrong message if President Donald Trump pardons Paul Manafort. The former Trump campaign chairman was sentenced an additional 43 months in prison during his second sentencing hearing on Wednesday.
“Of course the president has been expressing sympathy for Paul Manafort. The White House tells us he has not taken a pardon off the table. What would be your reaction, what should Congress’s reaction be if the president now pardons Paul Manafort,” Mitchell asked.
“Pardoning Paul Manafort would be an obstruction of justice,” he said. “Pardoning Paul Manafort would be plainly an indication of approval of his lying to prosecutors and his continued deception to them and to the American people. There can be no explanation for a pardon other than the president rewarding Paul Manafort for his defying a legitimate and important effort to get at the truth and to impose justice on Russian collusion by the Trump campaign and obstruction of justice potentially involving the president himself.”
“I think that pardoning Paul Manafort would, in effect, send a message you can break the law, defy the justice system, and then be rewarded by the president of the United States,” he added.
“As you define it, wouldn’t that be an impeachable offense,” Mitchell asked.
“There are a lot of remedies that could be applied to any illegal pardon. Remember, the president’s pardon power is very broad. He can’t misuse any power for corrupt purposes. As a former prosecutor, both federal and state attorney general, I was United States attorney, I’d like to wait until I know all of the evidence before deciding on what is the best remedy to prosecute and punish law breaking,”
Watch above, via MSNBC.
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