President Trump asked his lawyers in June about pardoning Paul Manafort, Rudy Giuliani said Thursday. Trump expressed anger that prosecutors “beat up” Manafort, who was convicted this week on eight of the 18 federal charges against him, according to Giuliani. The president’s legal team warned him against the pardon, saying that he shouldn’t pardon anyone related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference until after the probe has ended, Giuliani said. Trump agreed, according to Giuliani. Later, Giuliani said in a statement that the conversation about pardons was not “Manafort specific, rather it was generic.” He also claimed that Trump told him “there would be no pardons for anyone involved in the investigation during the pendency of the investigation.” His comments fly in the face of remarks made Wednesday by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. At a press briefing, she insisted that a Manafort pardon “is not something that has been up for discussion.” On Tuesday, Manafort was convicted of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to disclose a foreign bank account. He faces an estimated seven to nine years in prison for charges.
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