Speed Reads

pardon me

Giuliani says Trump won't pardon anyone in the Russia investigation — yet

Rudy Giuliani on CNN

President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, visited CNN Friday night to talk about — what else? — Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Host Chris Cuomo honed in on Giuliani's suggestion earlier in the day that "when the whole thing is over," former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort (presently jailed for alleged witness tampering) may get a presidential pardon.

Giuliani maintained his personal advice to Trump is "no pardons," and that he was merely reflecting on the historical record when he spoke about Manafort. He also argued Trump's recent consideration of pardons for high-profile figures like Martha Stewart and Rod Blagojevich is not intended to send a message to associates under Mueller's scrutiny.

"Let me make it clear right now, anybody listening," Giuiani said, "[Trump] is not going to pardon anybody in this investigation, but he is not obviously going to give up his right to pardon if a miscarriage of justice is presented to him after the investigation." When Cuomo pushed back, suggesting Trump should recuse himself from pardoning people in connection to this specific probe, Giuliani refused to back down. If Trump did that, he said, "he might as well give up being president!"

Watch the full interview; the pardon discussion begins around the 10-minute mark. Bonnie Kristian