SPONSORED:

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
© Getty Images

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffBiden administration open to restarting nuclear talks with Iran Kinzinger calls for people with info on Trump to come forward House Democrats renew push for checks on presidential pardons MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE's refusal to rule out a pardon for his former campaign chairman, Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortNew York court rules Manafort can't be prosecuted by Manhattan DA Would Trump have gotten away with a self-pardon? History will never know Trump's pardons harshly criticized by legal experts 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."

ADVERTISEMENT

Manafort pleaded guilty in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump 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.