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 SchiffSchiff to subpoena top DHS official, alleges whistleblower deposition is being stonewalled Schiff claims DHS is blocking whistleblower's access to records before testimony GOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday said that Congress is looking into reports that President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau intends to wrap up count on Oct. 5 despite judge's order Top House Republican calls for probe of source of NYT Trump tax documents New Yorkers report receiving ballots with wrong name, voter addresses 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 ManafortTop Mueller prosecutor: 'I would have subpoenaed' Trump during investigation FBI official who worked with Mueller raised doubts about Russia investigation Our Constitution is under attack by Attorney General William Barr 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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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 NadlerDemocrats shoot down talk of expanding Supreme Court Schumer: 'Nothing is off the table' if GOP moves forward with Ginsburg replacement Top Democrats call for DOJ watchdog to probe Barr over possible 2020 election influence MORE (D-N.Y.) opened an expansive probe earlier this month focusing on obstruction of justice, public corruption and abuses of power.