President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on Friday that for now, while the special counsel’s Russia investigation is ongoing, the President won’t pardon anyone involved in it, even though he pointed out that Trump will retain his “right to pardon.”
“Let me make it clear right now, anybody listening, he 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,” Giuliani told CNN‘s Chris Cuomo on “Cuomo Prime Time.”
His comments came shortly after a report that the former New York mayor had previously said presidential pardons could “clean up” Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. However, he told Cuomo that he had advised President Trump not to pardon anyone.
“When the whole thing is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons,” the former New York mayor told the New York Daily News on Friday, just hours after former campaign manager Paul Manafort was sent to jail to await trial.
In response to the decision, Giuliani said he saw no reason to lock Manafort up. “I don’t understand the justification for putting him in jail. You put a guy in jail if he’s trying to kill witnesses, not just talking to witnesses.”
He continued by saying the Russia investigation should finally be put to an end, suggesting it was “time for Justice to investigate the investigators.” However, speaking to Cuomo, Giuliani pointed out that he had told President Trump not to pardon people involved with Mueller’s probe.
“It would completely change the momentum we have right now. I didn’t suggest it. I said he shouldn’t pardon anybody,” Giuliani said, adding that Trump has told his attorneys, “I haven’t pardoned anybody. I’m not going to pardon anybody.”
When Cuomo pointed out that he has, just not in this situation, Giuliani continued, “Not in this investigation. Gosh almighty, that he has the right to do.”
As the special counsel’s probe is moving forward, speculation that individuals connected to it could be pardoned by the President have intensified. On Friday, Trump reacted to the news that his former campaign chairman has been sent to jail to await trial by saying the decision was “very unfair.”