Congress is now actively investigating allegations that President Trump and his legal team “dangled pardons” in order to obstruct existing investigations, according to The Hill. This news comes from a reliable source, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), who posted a statement about this new investigation on Twitter. Schiff condemned both the private dangling of pardons and Trump’s public references to them, calling both corrupt.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is widely viewed as a likely recipient of a future pardon by President Trump as leverage to keep Manfort from cooperating fully with prosecutors, and the White House has refused to rule out Trump pardoning Manafort, something Schiff referenced in his post. Manafort made a deal with prosecutors to cooperate, but violated that agreement in multiple ways, including continuing to lie to prosecutors and attempting to tamper with other witnesses, an act which got his bail revoked, leading to his being imprisoned before his trials. Manafort, who was expected to get a 19 to 24 year sentence for his convictions in Virginia, already received a very lenient sentence of slightly less than 4 years; his sentence for his convictions in D.C. is still pending. According to The Hill:
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Tuesday said that Congress is looking into reports that President Trump “dangled” pardons in an effort obstruct investigations. “Congress is investigating reports that Trump and his legal team privately dangled pardons to obstruct investigations, including ours,” Schiff said in a statement on Twitter, noting that the White House has refused to rule out a presidential pardon for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort…Tuesday’s comments from Schiff come less than a week after Judge T.S. Ellis III sentenced Manafort to 47 months in prison for a range of financial crimes. Manafort faces separate sentencing related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe in a Washington, D.C., court this week…White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday said that Trump would make a decision regarding a pardon for Manafort when he’s “ready.”
This was Schiff’s tweet announcing the new investigation, in which Schiff wrote, “Congress is investigating reports that Trump and his legal team privately dangled pardons to obstruct investigations, including ours. Yesterday, the White House refused to rule out a pardon for Paul Manafort. That Trump does so in the open is no less corrupt.”
Congress is investigating reports that Trump and his legal team privately dangled pardons to obstruct investigations, including ours.
Yesterday, the White House refused to rule out a pardon for Paul Manafort.
That Trump does so in the open is no less corrupt. https://t.co/icT5i82tZs
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 12, 2019
Schiff indicated in February that the House Intelligence Committee would also be investigating President Trump’s financial ties to determine if Trump’s policies and decisions as president have been influenced by financial gain. Trump did not take the news of that investigation at all well, calling Schiff a “political hack” who had “no basis” for such an investigation. The House Intelligence Committee begs to differ, however, and is proceeding with that investigation, this new investigation into allegations that Trump has dangled pardons in order to obstruct justice, and likely several others as well. Trump may not like being held accountable for his actions, but the Democratic majority House is moving to provide the oversight and accountability for the Trump administration as they are supposed to do, something that was missing when Republicans held majorities in both houses of Congress.