President Donald Trump indicated in an interview with the New York Post that he’s open to the possibility of pardoning Paul Manafort, his former presidential campaign manager.
Manafort, of course, is serving out his jail sentence after being found guilty on multiple financial crimes. He reached a plea deal earlier this year with Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. (RELATED: Trump Open Up to the Possibility of Pardoning Paul Manafort.)
It’s been widely speculated that President Trump is considering pardoning Manafort. Now, the President just confirmed that he is indeed thinking about it. The New York Post reports:
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.
— Nikki Schwab (@NikkiSchwab) November 28, 2018
Trump hinting at a Manafort pardon isn’t surprising. So far, we know that Manafort hasn’t thrown Trump under the bus. For remaining loyal despite going to prison, Trump praised Manafort earlier this year.
I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. “Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to “break” – make up stories in order to get a “deal.” Such respect for a brave man!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2018
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Manafort reportedly violated his plea deal, which was supposedly worked out with prosecutors linked to Mueller. The Boston Globe also reports that a lawyer for Manafort had briefed the White House recently, which caused a great deal of consternation on the part of Mueller’s team.
It appears that Manafort is trying to stay within Trump’s good graces, and may be angling for a pardon.
And Trump, by hinting that a pardon could come, may have just given Manafort the incentive to remain on his side, no matter how much pressure Mueller puts on him.