Trump attorney discussed pardons with Flynn, Manafort lawyers

The FBI has found that a business associate of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had ongoing ties to Russian intelligence, including during the 2016 campaign when Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, were in touch with the associate, according to new court filings.

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.

Previous court documents filed by Mueller's team have described Person A as "a longtime Russian colleague ... who is now based in Russia and assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service".

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Paul Manafort has been indicted on multiple charges of financial fraud.

In July 2016 Manafort, then chairman of Trump's presidential campaign, emailed Kilimnik asking him to offer Deripaska "private briefings" about the campaign, according to the Washington Post.

"I don't want to talk about pardons for Michael Flynn yet", he said on December 15.

A spokesperson for Manafort, Jason Maloni, also declined to comment.

Raising such a possibility could be viewed as an incentive for witnesses not to cooperate with investigators.

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The development could itself become part of the Mueller probe with the special counsel known to be looking into whether Trump and those around him obstructed justice.

But, he added, "given the openness of both the legal and factual questions, it would be irresponsible of Mueller not to add this his inquiry".

The connection between Gates and the former intelligence officer, identified only as "Person A" in the records filed late on Tuesday, is significant because criminal charges brought against Gates and Manafort relate only to their lobbying work for Ukraine prior to the 2016 USA presidential election and do not delve into their activities during the campaign.

"I have 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", White House lawyer Ty Cobb said in a statement.

Flynn's family and advocates have indicated publicly that they are hoping Trump will pardon Flynn.

"Let's see, I can say this: When you look at what's gone on with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department, people are very, very angry".

Gates has recently started cooperating with Mueller's team.

He faces a raft of serious felony charges, and if convicted, faces decades in prison.

  • Sonia Alvarado