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Trump Good Person Nod To Paul Manafort Is A Sign To Keep Quiet, Ex-U.S. Attorney Says

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Trump Good Person Nod To Paul Manafort Is A Sign To Keep Quiet, Ex-U.S. Attorney Says

President Donald Trump’s comment calling former campaign chairman Paul Manafort a “very good person,” despite 18 criminal charges against him, was a “strategic” message to Manafort that he could be rewarded with a pardon if he keeps his mouth shut, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance said Friday on MSNBC. “I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad,” Trump told reporters before boarding Marine One on Friday. “He happens to be a very good person. And I think its very sad what theyve done to Paul Manafort.” Vance noted: “If youre Paul Manafort and you hear about that — and we all know Paul Manaforts heard about that — its difficult to read that as anything other than a message to Manafort: Hold on, dont cut a deal with the government while the jury is out.” A deal would almost certainly involve cooperation in other investigations, possibly including the president. Trump “is, in essence, saying, Dont do that. Help is on the way. I can pardon you in the future,” said Vance. If word about Trumps comments gets out to a member of the jury, which has not been sequestered, theres “great risk of prejudicing the jury.”  Trumps conduct is “reprehensible,” she said. “He should be told to stay out of the criminal process.” But she also warned that any pardon from Trump could potentially be part of a case against him for obstruction of justice. Manaforts attorney Kevin Downing said Friday that his clients team “really appreciates the support of President Trump.” "Its very sad what theyve done to Paul Manafort,” President Trump says as jury deliberates on fraud charges against the former Trump campaign manager. Asked Thursday if he would pardon Manafort if hes convicted, Trump said he wasnt going to talk about it. The jury in Manaforts trial was unable to reach a verdict Friday and will reconvene Monday. Judge T.S. Ellis III revealed that he has received a number of death threats during the proceedings and is being protected by U.S. marshals. Listen to what else Vance had to say about Trumps “message” to Manafort in the video up top. This article originally appeared on HuffPost.


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Added On: August 18, 2018, 3:57 pm EDT

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