Schiff: Trump refusal to rule out Manafort pardon adds to evidence of obstruction of justice

Schiff: Trump refusal to rule out Manafort pardon adds to evidence of obstruction of justice
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Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffPinterest blocks all vaccine-related searches in effort to combat anti-vax content Trump’s overreach is making a weaker presidency White House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE's refusal to rule out a pardon for his former campaign chairman, Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Five things to know about Trump confidant Tom Barrack Trump has publicly criticized Russia probe more than 1,100 times: NY Times MORE, adds to evidence that the president is obstructing justice.

"The president continues to dangle a pardon for Paul Manafort, which only adds to growing body of evidence that the president is engaged in obstructing justice," Schiff, the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on ABC's "This Week."

Trump said last week that he had not discussed a pardon for Manafort, but that he would not "take it off the table."

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Manafort pleaded guilty in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation after he was convicted on bank and tax fraud charges in order to avoid a second, separate trial. However, prosecutors last week accused Manafort of violating his plea agreement by lying to investigators.

Schiff, who is among the most outspoken critics of the president, said Sunday that Mueller will have to "throw the book" at Manafort and Jerome Corsi, a Stone associate who publicly declared last week that he would reject a plea deal from the special counsel and instead file a criminal complaint in the case. Corsi has come under scrutiny for his ties to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

"You cannot have people who are essentially in discussions with you flaunt that process, deceive you, if you want to telegraph to other witnesses that you darn well better be true when you say you want to cooperate with us," Schiff said.

Mueller has thus far obtained guilty pleas from former Trump associates Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen and George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Mueller probe figures use fame to pay bills Schiff: Evidence of collusion between Trump campaign, Russia 'pretty compelling' MORE for lying to investigators or Congress.