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No talk of pardons in Russia probe ‘at this time’

(News Desk) – US President Donald Trump has not considered pardoning anyone found guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between Trump associates and Russia.

“There’s no discussion or consideration of that at this time,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Wednesday, reading a statement from Trump‘s lawyer, Ty Cobb. “The president has the authority to pardon individuals, but you’re asking me about a specific case in which it hasn’t been discussed.”

Her statement came after The New York Times reported that the president may pardon former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump’s former lead attorney, John Dowd, who left the president’s personal legal team earlier this month, floated the possibility of pardon.

Cobb, the current attorney dealing with Russia probe inside the White House, has rejected any consideration of pardons.

“I have only been asked about pardons by the press and have routinely responded on the record that no pardons are under discussion or under consideration at the White House,” he said.

Jay Sekulow, another personal attorney for Trump, has made a similar comment on the report.

According to the Times, “Mr. Trump’s lawyers were concerned about what Mr. Flynn and Mr. Manafort might reveal were they to cut a deal with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, in exchange for leniency. Mr. Mueller’s team could investigate the prospect that Mr. Dowd made pardon offers to thwart the inquiry, although legal experts are divided about whether such offers might constitute obstruction of justice.”

Mueller seeks to find out whether the Russian government coordinated with Trump’s aides after the intelligence community’s conclusion that the Kremlin helped with the New York billionaire’s campaign effort ahead of winning the White House, an allegation dismissed both by Moscow and the president.

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