Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, essentially removed any remaining hope Paul Manafort might have for a presidential pardon.
According to the Democratic congressman, the reason Manafort lied to investigators is that he was still holding out for a pardon from Donald Trump.
“I think [Manafort] clearly felt that he couldn’t maintain any possibility of a pardon if he was honest about what kind of a relationship the campaign had through him with this Russian intelligence-linked individual,” Rep. Schiff said.
Following the congressman’s logic, it will be nearly impossible for Manafort to receive a “get out of jail free” card from Trump now that his lies have been exposed in court.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) February 14, 2019
[A Trump pardon] certainly is a concern, because if there was ever a president to abuse the pardon power, it’s likely to be this one. I think Manafort was trying to play it both ways. He wanted to angle for a pardon with the president. At the same time, he knew he could get stiffed by the president because the president, after all, doesn’t care about Manafort or anyone else. He cares about Donald Trump. And so he wanted at the same time to try to minimize his sentence and reduce his exposure there and still hold out the prospect of a pardon. But I think he clearly felt that he couldn’t maintain any possibility of a pardon if he was honest about what kind of a relationship the campaign had through him with this Russian intelligence-linked individual.
Paul Manafort shot himself in the foot
Instead of cooperating fully with investigators, Manafort made two mistakes: 1. Convincing himself that he could get away with his lies; and 2. Thinking that Trump would save him.
In taking that approach, Manafort has made matters much worse for himself.
Not only did he increase his odds of spending the rest of his life behind bars, but he has essentially removed any chance he might have had left of receiving the presidential pardon he was angling for.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.