Guiliani Says Russia Probe May Get ‘Cleaned Up’ with Pardons
The President's attorney continues to issue public statements that would seem injurious to his client.
NY Daily News (“Rudy Giuliani says Mueller probe ‘might get cleaned up’ with ‘presidential pardons’ in light of Paul Manafort going to jail“):
Rudy Giuliani wants to mop the floor with Robert Mueller.
In one of his most forceful attacks on the special counsel yet, Giuliani on Friday said the Russia investigation could get “cleaned up” with pardons from President Trump in light of Paul Manafort being sent to jail.
“When the whole thing is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons,” the former New York mayor told the Daily News.
Giuliani’s stunning remark came hours after a Washington, D.C., judge revoked Manafort’s bail and ordered him to remain behind bars while awaiting his September trial on charges relating to his shady pro-Russian business dealings in Ukraine. The ruling came after Mueller’s investigators alleged the ex-Trump campaign chairman had attempted to secure false testimony from potential witnesses in the Russia probe.
Giuliani, who worked as a federal prosecutor for nearly a decade, claimed he had seen no evidence to warrant locking up Manafort.
“I don’t understand the justification for putting him in jail,” Giuliani, 74, said. “You put a guy in jail if he’s trying to kill witnesses, not just talking to witnesses.”
Giuliani, who serves as Trump’s personal lawyer, doubled down on his previous call to end the Mueller investigation immediately.
“That kind of investigation should not go forward,” Giuliani said. “It’s time for Justice to investigate the investigators.”
I’m not steeped enough in criminal law to have a strong opinion to the claim that Manafort shouldn’t be in jail but I’m sympathetic to it. In my understanding, we typically allow bail unless someone is considered dangerous or an extreme flight risk. I don’t know that either is the case with Manafort. [UPDATE: I hadn’t followed this one closely enough to realize that Manafort had violated the terms of his bail by contacting witnesses and, allegedly, attempting to suborn perjury. That certainly makes revoking bail reasonable.]
More importantly, though, the threat of massive pardons is interesting. On the one level, it would seem to remove 5th Amendment protections, thus actually making it easier to compel testimony that would hurt President Trump. On another, though, self-serving pardons during an ongoing investigation of the person granting the pardons would seem to be classic obstruction of justice.