Trump attorney discussed Flynn, Manafort pardons

Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch lawyer who worked in London for NY law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, pleaded guilty last month to lying to special counsel Robert Mueller's team about his contacts with Gates shortly before the presidential election.

The White House pushed back Wednesday against reports that President Donald Trump's former lawyer had considered pardoning Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, stressing that such clemency is not now under consideration for anyone tied to the investigation into alleged Russian election meddling.

Dowd's conversations with a lawyer for Flynn happened after Dowd took over as the president's personal lawyer last summer, the newspaper reported.

It is unlikely that Manafort will escape conviction now that his co-defendant Richard Gates has agreed to work with the special counsel and the charges against him are no longer focused on rarely-prosecuted legal infractions involving the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

Dowd spoke about a pardon with Manafort's lawyer, Reginald Brown, before Manafort was indicted last October, according to the Times. Flynn pleaded guilty in December to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his Russian contacts.

"Never during the course of my representation of the president have I had any discussions of pardons of any individual involved in this inquiry", Jay Sekulow, another Trump lawyer, told the Times on Wednesday.


Mr. Kilimnik has maintained residences in Moscow and Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, and has traveled regularly between them during years of working for Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates on behalf of various Russia-aligned oligarchs and political parties. "Period.... As far as I know, no discussions".

Van der Zwaan pleaded guilty last month to one count of making false statements to investigators in the Russian Federation investigation, which is examining the extent of Russia's interference in the 2016 election and whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to sway the race in Trump's favor.

Sanders read a statement from Ty Cobb, the president's lead attorney in the investigation headed by special counsel Robert Mueller, saying that "I've 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".

"I don't want to talk about pardons for Michael Flynn yet", he said on December 15.

Last August, the president pardoned controversial former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which analysts speculated was to signal that he was willing to do so in the special counsel probe.


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