Schiff says Congress is investigating reports that Trump 'dangled' pardons

Schiff says Congress is investigating reports that Trump 'dangled' pardons
© Stefani Reynolds

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Hillicon Valley — Hacking goes global Schiff calls on Amazon, Facebook to address spread of vaccine misinformation Spotlight turns to GOP's McCarthy in Jan. 6 probe MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday said that Congress is looking into reports that President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE "dangled" pardons in an effort to obstruct investigations. 

"Congress is investigating reports that Trump and his legal team privately dangled pardons to obstruct investigations, including ours," Schiff said in a statement on Twitter, noting that the White House has refused to rule out a presidential pardon for former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ investigating one-time Trump campaign adviser over alleged ties to Qatar: report Foreign lobbyists donated over M during 2020 election: report Former Mueller prosecutor representing Donoghue in congressional probes: report MORE

"That Trump does so in the open is no less corrupt," Schiff added.

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Schiff did not offer specifics regarding to whom he thinks pardons may have been offered. 

Schiff, a frequent critic of Trump's, announced earlier this year that the Intelligence Committee would launch an investigation going beyond the ongoing probe of the alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia. He said a new probe would also scrutinize if Trump's decisions as president have been motivated by financial gain. 

Trump blasted Schiff as a "political hack" after the announcement in February, saying that the Democratic lawmaker had "no basis" to launch the new investigation. 

Tuesday's comments from Schiff come less than a week after Judge T.S. Ellis III sentenced Manafort to 47 months in prison for a range of financial crimes. Manafort faces separate sentencing related to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's probe in a Washington, D.C., court this week. 

Trump said last week that he felt "very badly" for Manafort. But he noted that he had not talked about the possibility of a pardon with him.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday said that Trump would make a decision regarding a pardon for Manafort when he's "ready."

Democratic lawmakers have placed increased scrutiny on Trump since taking the majority in the House. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerBiden to raise refugee cap to 125,000 in October Ocasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan Angelina Jolie spotted in Capitol meeting with senators MORE (D-N.Y.) opened an expansive probe earlier this month focusing on obstruction of justice, public corruption and abuses of power.