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 SchiffOfficers offer harrowing accounts at first Jan. 6 committee hearing Live coverage: House panel holds first hearing on Jan. 6 probe Five things to watch as Jan. 6 panel begins its work MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt MORE's refusal to rule out a pardon for his former campaign chairman, Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortLobbyist Tony Podesta returns to work for Huawei Former bank CEO convicted of bribery in scheme to land Trump admin job Trial begins for Chicago banker who exchanged loans with Manafort for Trump job 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 (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 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 PapadopoulosTrump supporters show up to DC for election protest Trump pardons draw criticism for benefiting political allies Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' MORE for lying to investigators or Congress.