Trump was asked by reporters if he will pardon Paul Manafort, and his only answer was to say thank you.
The White House pool report as provided to PoliticusUSA confirmed the exchange, “Your pooler asked if he would pardon Paul Manafort. The president considered the question for half a moment and then thanked the pool, signaling he was done answering questions.”
The fact that Trump would acknowledge the question should be very troubling to Congress and the American people. It has been reported for months that Trump has been asking about how he could pardon those involved with the Russia scandal, himself, and his family.
If Trump doesn’t try to shut down the Mueller investigation or fire the special counsel, the next step would be a presidential pardon for everyone who was involved. A presidential pardon is an admission of guilt that would trigger a movement to impeach the president. A pardon would also only cover federal crimes. With state attorney generals also investigating the Russia scandal, a presidential pardon would not prevent a state prosecution.
Trump could have said that he won’t be pardoning anyone, but his non-answer shows that his campaign is guilty and he is seriously considering an abuse of the presidential pardon power that has never been seen before in US history.