President's attorney floated idea of Flynn, Manafort pardon

A FEB. 14 2018 FILE

Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates allegedly was in contact with someone tied to Russian intelligence in 2016

According to the Times, Dowd talked about the idea as special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE was building cases against Flynn and Manafort.

Mueller's office did not make a judgment on what van der Zwaan's sentence should be, but pointed out his experience as a longtime lawyer and the fact that he lied to them after Gates and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort were indicted in the Russian Federation probe.

John Dowd, the former lead attorney representing President Donald Trump in the Russian Federation investigation, proposed pardons for former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign head Paul Manafort previous year during conversations with their lawyers, The New York Times reported Wednesday, citing three unnamed sources with knowledge of the situation.

The White House pushed back Wednesday against reports that President Donald Trump's former lawyer had considered pardoning Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, stressing that such clemency is not now under consideration for anyone tied to the investigation into alleged Russian election meddling.

The talks suggest Trump's lawyers were concerned about what Flynn, who has since pleaded guilty, and Manafort, who has been indicted, might tell Mueller in exchange for leniency, the paper reported.

"I would refer you back to the statement from Ty Cobb.in which he said, 'I've only been asked about pardons by the press and have routinely responded on the record that no pardons are under discussion or under consideration at the White House, '" she said.

He has since pleaded guilty to lying to investigators to avoid trial over charges similar to those against Manafort.

Dowd insisted Wednesday that he did not raise the idea of pardons with lawyers representing the two men.

"The Office of Special Counsel complied with a federal judge's order and as a result turned over all evidence related to former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn's case, according to two sources who spoke to this reporter", writes Carter.

"I had no such discussions with them", Dowd said in a phone interview.

"We're very confident in that and look forward to this process wrapping up".

While these allegations are still unconfirmed, the president has openly discussed potential pardons for former aides under investigation in the Russian Federation probe, according to two people with knowledge of the interviews who spoke with the Times.

Flynn, who briefly served as Trump's national security adviser, pleaded guilty in December to one count of "willfully and knowingly" making "false, fictitious and fraudulent statements" to the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding his his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2016.

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