Trump’s Big Pardon Problem

Talk of pardons is in the air, and well it should be. Paul Manafort is facing decades in jail if he doesn’t cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller. So is his deputy, Rick Gates. Since their indictments were handed down, President Trump has shown unusual restraint given his penchant for lashing out. Surely, he and his lawyers are studying their options. “The idea of a pre-trial pardon is not something that’s atypical,” says Jacob Frenkel, a white-collar lawyer at Dickinson Wright who worked in the Office of the Independent Counsel during the Clinton years. Frenkel speculates that Mueller may even be “baiting” Trump to pardon Manafort in an effort to obstruct the investigation, which could then become a basis for impeachment proceedings.