Schiff: Trump pardon sends message to Russia investigation witnesses

Schiff: Trump pardon sends message to Russia investigation witnesses
© Greg Nash

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGraham: Senate trial 'must expose the whistleblower' Graham says Schiff should be a witness in Trump impeachment trial Democrats seize on new evidence in first public impeachment hearing MORE (D-Calif.) warned on Saturday that President Trump's decision to pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio could send a signal to those under investigation in the probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russian election interference. 

"Arpaio action was appalling & political. It also sends [a] message to witnesses in Russia investigation to keep quiet, stay loyal [and] get pardon," Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a tweet. 

Schiff's warning comes a day after the White House announced Trump would pardon Arpaio, who was found guilty of racial profiling.

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The former sheriff was convicted of criminal contempt last month for disobeying a federal judge's order on detaining individuals suspected of being in the U.S. illegally. 

Speculation has been swirling for months over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and whether any member of the Trump campaign could be convicted of wrongdoing. 

Schiff's suggestion on Saturday was that if such a conviction or convictions were to occur, Trump would pardon anyone on his campaign who remained loyal to him.

The president has blast Mueller and the investigation in the past, denying any wrongdoing and calling it a "witch hunt".