LEGAL/MICHAEL FLYNN/PAUL MANAFORT/ROBERT MUELLER/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “A lawyer for President Trump broached the idea of Mr. Trump pardoning two of his former top advisers, Michael T. Flynn and Paul Manafort, with their lawyers last year, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions.
The discussions came as the special counsel was building cases against both men, and they raise questions about whether the lawyer, John Dowd, was offering pardons to influence their decisions about whether to plead guilty and cooperate in the investigation. The talks suggest that 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.”
–Michael S. Schmidt, Jo Becker, Mark Mazzetti, Maggie Haberman and Adam Goldman, “Trump’s Lawyer Raised Prospect of Pardons for Flynn and Manafort as Special Counsel Closed In,” The New York Times online, Mar. 28, 2018