Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT) sent out a warning on Saturday night to potential witnesses who are thinking of not cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe that they can’t count on President Donald Trump to pardon them.
The Hill said that Blumenthal — a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is running its own investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election — sent the message out on Twitter in response to an earlier Hill report quoting House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).
Schiff warned that Trump’s pardoning of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio before Arpaio was even sentenced on federal contempt charges sent a strong signal to anyone targeted by the Justice Department in the Mueller probe.
Blumenthal — who has gone toe-to-toe with Trump in previous media skirmishes about the Russia investigation — told anyone counting on a “get out of jail free” card from the president that their options may be more limited than they currently realize.
“Any witness counting on a Russia investigation pardon should think again,” he wrote on Twitter. “Trump’s loyalty is limited, witnesses can still be compelled to testify, and the pardons apply only to federal crimes.”
On Friday, the Mueller investigation sent out a fusillade of subpoenas directed at associates of former Trump 2016 campaign manager Paul Manafort. Many experts say that this is a sign that the investigation is intensifying and gathering speed.