A bombshell New York Times report claims that an attorney working on behalf of President Donald Trump reached out to attorneys representing two indicted Trump allies to discuss “possible pardons.”
According to the Times, the unnamed Trump lawyer discussed the potential for pardons with attorneys representing former campaign chairman Paul Manfort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“The discussions raised questions about whether the president was willing to offer pardons to influence their decisions about whether to plead guilty and cooperate in the Mueller investigation,” the Times reports.
Since the reported pardon discussions took place, both Flynn and Manafort pleaded guilty to charges and entered into cooperation agreements with special counsel Robert Mueller. Although Flynn has upheld the terms of his agreement, the special counsel found that Manafort repeatedly violated his plea agreement by lying about contacts he’d had with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian national whom federal law enforcement officials believe has ties to Russian intelligence agencies.
If Trump ordered an attorney to float pardons to witnesses who could possibly implicate him, that could constitute an obstruction of justice charge.