Trump’s Lawyer Reportedly Floated the Idea of Pardoning Manafort and Flynn

Nothing to see here, folks.

Richard Drew/AP

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One of President Donald Trump’s attorneys discussed the possibility of pardons with lawyers for Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort—two people at the center of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe—according to a stunning new report from the New York Times.

Last year, Flynn, the former national security adviser, pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with Russian officials. Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and money laundering. As the Times explained, “The discussions came as the special counsel was building cases against both men, and they raise questions about whether the lawyer, John Dowd, was offering pardons to influence their decisions about whether to plead guilty and cooperate in the investigation. The paper cited “three people with knowledge of the discussions,” though it noted that Dowd himself denied raising the possibility of pardons. “There were no discussions. Period,” Dowd told the Times. “As far as I know, no discussions.”

According to the Times, “legal experts are divided” over whether such an offer could amount the obstruction of justice.

The report comes as Trump struggles to hire lawyers willing to represent him in the face of mounting legal problems.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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