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 SchiffDems request probe into spa owner suspected of trying to sell access to Trump Dems fear Trump is looking at presidential pardons The Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies first veto after latest clash with Senate GOP MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday said that Congress is looking into reports that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral 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 ManafortSenior Ukrainian official says he's opened probe into US election interference Mueller team asks court for delay, citing 'press of other work' Pollster says 'surprised' 37 percent of Republicans don't oppose Trump pardoning ex-associates 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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 NadlerThe real reason Nancy Pelosi has backed away from impeachment President Trump should not underestimate Jerry Nadler House heads down wrong path to impeachment with investigations MORE (D-N.Y.) opened an expansive probe earlier this month focusing on obstruction of justice, public corruption and abuses of power.