Rudy Giuliani, the attorney for President Donald Trump, says his client is not ruling out a pardon for former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
‘Right now would not be the time,’ the former New York City Mayor told The Wall Street Journal when asked if the President might pardon Manafort.
‘It’s my job as his private lawyer to tell him you should not even consider it now because it will be misunderstood,’ Giuliani said.
‘That doesn’t mean you give away your presidential prerogative to do it at the right time… Manafort should get the same consideration as anyone else.’
Manafort has been accused by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of lying to federal investigators and violating his plea agreement requiring him to cooperate with the investigation into alleged Russian meddling.
Rudy Giuliani (left), the attorney for President Donald Trump, says that his client is not ruling out a pardon for former campaign manager Paul Manafort (right)
Manafort has been accused by Special Counsel Robert Mueller (above) of lying to federal investigators and violating his plea agreement requiring him to cooperate with the investigation into alleged Russian meddling
Both Russia and the Trump campaign deny that they colluded with one another in the hopes of defeating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections.
Manafort said in the same filing on Monday that he disagreed with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s assertion that he had lied, but both sides agreed the court should move ahead and sentence him for his crimes.
Without a pardon, the 69-year-old Manafort could spend the rest of his life in prison, experts said.
The surprise development comes at a critical time for Mueller, who is expected to finalize a report in the coming months on the findings of his 18-month probe into Russia’s election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
While not a fatal blow, the dissolution of Manafort’s plea agreement means Mueller is losing the contributions of a witness with deep ties to Russia and who ran the Trump campaign as it took off in mid-2016.
Without a pardon from Trump (seen above at the White House on Monday), the 69-year-old Manafort could spend the rest of his life in prison, experts said
Giuliani on Tuesday slammed Mueller for his treatment of Manafort, who has been kept in solitary confinement as if he were ‘the head of the mafia or a terrorist bomber,’ the former mayor said.
It is unclear whether Manafort really is in solitary confinement.
Giuliani’s comments about a possible pardon for Manafort were just the latest developments in the Russia investigation.
Documents made public earlier on Tuesday indicated that Mueller’s team believes Jerome Corsi, a conservative author and conspiracy theorist, tipped off Trump confidant Roger Stone months before WikiLeaks released thousands of emails stolen from Clinton’s campaign.
The document, which was drafted as part of a plea offer to Corsi, provides an unprecedented window into an active part of Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and possible coordination with Trump’s associates.
It reveals that Mueller is keenly focused on whether Americans close to the Trump campaign had any foreknowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to release hacked material during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The document’s contents were first reported by NBC News and a copy of it was posted online by The Washington Post.
Corsi told The Associated Press on Tuesday evening that the document had been provided to his attorney by Mueller’s team.
Corsi said the document, which mirrors similar ones filed by Mueller in previous plea deals, contains portions of emails he exchanged with Stone in the summer of 2016 about WikiLeaks.
But he denied that he intentionally lied to investigators about the emails, and said that was why he rejected the plea offer, which would have charged him with one count of making false statements.
According to the document, in late July 2016, Stone asked Corsi to get in touch with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living in Ecuador’s Embassy in London since 2012, and to try to obtain emails the group possessed about Clinton.
Documents made public earlier on Tuesday indicated that Mueller’s team believes Jerome Corsi (above), an author and conspiracy theorist, tipped off Trump confidant Roger Stone months before WikiLeaks released thousands of emails stolen from Clinton’s campaign
According to the document, in late July 2016, Stone (above) asked Corsi to get in touch with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living in Ecuador’s Embassy in London since 2012, and to try to obtain emails the group possessed about Clinton
The document says Corsi passed Stone’s request to an ‘overseas individual.’ And on August 2, 2016, the document quotes Corsi’s response to Stone.
‘Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging,’ wrote Corsi, who was in Europe at the time.
He then told Stone it was time for Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, to ‘be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC,’ a reference to Clinton.
On Tuesday, Corsi told the AP that the email he sent Stone – which accurately forecast that WikiLeaks would release derogatory information about Podesta in October – was based on his own deduction and not the result of any inside information or a source close to the group.
He said he has never had contact with Assange and he didn’t obtain any advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans.
Stone has denied knowing about WikiLeaks plans’ ahead of time.
Earlier on Tuesday, Manafort staunchly denied ever meeting with Assange, after the Guardian newspaper published a story alleging the two met at least three times, including once in 2016.
‘This story is totally false and deliberately libelous. I have never met Julian Assange or anyone connected to him,’ Manafort said through a spokesman.
‘We are considering all legal options against the Guardian, who proceeded with this story even after being notified by my representatives that it was false.’
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Guardian said the ‘story relied on a number of sources. We put these allegations to both Paul Manafort and Julian Assange’s representatives prior to publication. Neither responded to deny the visits taking place. We have since updated the story to reflect their denials.’