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WH: No Talk of Pardons for Flynn or Manafort in Russia Probe

WH: No Talk of Pardons for Flynn or Manafort in Russia Probe

Last summer, as the special counsel's office was asking a grand jury to indict Michael Flynn on a variety of charges - while simultaneously imploring the former national security adviser to cooperate with investigators - Donald Trump's lawyer chose to have a word with Flynn's attorney about the president's pardon powers.

The lawyer, John Dowd, who abruptly resigned from his role last week, broached the topic past year with lawyers for Flynn and Manafort, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The discussions between Dowd and lawyers for Manafort and Flynn indicated Trump's legal team was concerned about what the two former aides would reveal if they cut a deal with Mueller in exchange for leniency, according to the newspaper.

The original charges filed against Gates and Manafort in October alleged conspiracy to launder money and making false statements.

It was not clear whether Dowd discussed the proposed pardons with Trump before speaking with Manafort and Flynn's attorneys, the Times reported.

It is unlikely that Manafort will escape conviction now that his co-defendant Richard Gates has agreed to work with the special counsel and the charges against him are no longer focused on rarely-prosecuted legal infractions involving the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). But the Times report claims that Trump's lawyer did in fact talk to Manafort's lawyer about a pardon.

A spokesman for Manafort, who is under a court gag order, declined to comment. In February 2017, he told The New York Times he had "never knowingly spoken to Russian intelligence officers, and I have never been involved with anything to do with the Russian government of the Putin administration or any other issues under investigation today".

Sterling leaps in anticipation of May rate rise
As such, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is now seen as unlikely to be considering near-term monetary policy adjustment. The UK´s unemployment rate has meanwhile dipped, reverting to the lowest level since 1975, after a brief rise.

Flynn pleaded guilty in December to lying to the FBI about his discussions with Kislyak, becoming the first member of Trump's administration to agree to cooperate with Mueller's investigation.

He, the White House, and the president's current lawyer deny allegations in the report.

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

"We'll see what happens", he told reporters before a speech he was giving at the FBI's National Academy.

Less than two weeks later, Flynn's brother, Joseph Flynn, tweeted at Trump, "About time you pardoned General Flynn who has taken the biggest fall for all of you given the illegitimacy of this confessed crime in the wake of all this corruption".

Last August, the president pardoned controversial former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which analysts speculated was to signal that he was willing to do so in the special counsel probe.

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