After Paul Manafort was locked up for witness tampering pending trial on tax evasion, fraud and money laundering, Trump was asked if he would pardon his former campaign manager. He deflected, saying he didn’t want to discuss that. But Rudy Giuliani made sure Manafort got the message loud and clear:
White House lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani suggested Sunday that President Trump might pardon his former campaign manager Paul Manafort if he is convicted — but only after special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has completed his investigation.
“When it’s over, hey, he’s the president of the United States, he retains his pardon power, nobody’s taking that away from him,” Giuliani said on CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked whether Trump would pardon Manafort should he be convicted. “I couldn’t and I don’t want to take any prerogatives away from him.”
But Giuliani stressed that Trump has not issued, would not issue and should not issue any pardons related to the Mueller probe while it is still ongoing, so as not to give the appearance that he has anything to hide.
See, he can’t just call Manafort up and tell him that he shouldn’t roll over on Trump because Trump will pardon him if he does because that would also be witness tampering. So he sends a clear message through the media that they aren’t in a position to pardon him now, but it will be taken care of down the road, so you don’t have to worry even if you get convicted, we’ll clear it all up in the end. Now please just keep your mouth shut. Whether Manafort got the message or not, that is clearly the one Giuliani was intending to send.