Paul Manafort’s Light Sentence Could Lay The Groundwork For A Pardon From Trump

The post-sentencing statement by Paul Manafort‘s lawyer on Thursday suggests that the former Trump campaign chairman is angling for a presidential pardon.

In his short remarks, Manafort’s lawyer echoed Donald Trump‘s language and said that today’s light sentence is further proof that “there is absolutely no evidence that Paul Manafort was involved with any collusion with any government official from Russia.”

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In a tweet, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff warned that the statement by Manafort’s lawyer “was no accident” and appeared to be a “deliberate appeal for a pardon.”

Trump is obstructing justice by dangling a pardon

Donald Trump has been dangling a pardon for Paul Manafort throughout the course of the Mueller investigation.

As MSNBC‘s Chris Hayes noted on Thursday, it has largely been effective for the president. After all, Manafort has given no useful information to investigators and he continues to sit on a “set of truths” all the way to prison.

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell said on Thursday that Manafort’s lawyer’s mimicry of Trump following the sentencing was further proof that a pardon is his ultimate endgame.

But as the Democratic congressman also said, dangling pardons over witnesses is a crime.

“Whether he pardons him or not, if he’s trying to keep him quiet, that is still obstruction of justice,” Swalwell said.

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