A presidential pardon for Paul Manafort is highly likely to become reality, according to former CIA Director John Brennan, who told MSNBC’s Katy Tur on Monday that he believes President Donald Trump will take care of his former campaign chairman’s federal charges.
RawStory reported that Brennan is all but sure the pardon will occur because Trump has spoken highly of Manafort, says he was treated unfairly, and continuously frames the Russia investigation as a “witch hunt.”
Former U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg began the conversation by saying that Manafort “should not be dancing in the end zone yet” despite receiving a lenient sentence last week.
Rather than the 19 to 24 years recommended by special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors, the judge sentenced Manafort to just shy of 4 years in prison.
“He got a lenient sentence. He is looking at an additional ten years,” said Rosenberg. “The judge there could run it consecutively and he still has significant exposure, whether or not the president will pardon him is another matter, but he should not be dancing in the end zone yet.”
But Brennan offered that he does not believe Trump will allow the federal charges to stand and will almost certainly pardon Manafort.
“But then, if he’s also convicted of state-charges, Donald Trump is not going to be able to pardon him for that,” Brennan said. “So, I believe that Paul Manafort will be able to get out of the federal charges, because what does Donald Trump have to lose if he pardons him?”
Brennan said it is not a question of if but when: “I think whether it is when he’s leaving office, whatever. But he has spoken highly of him. He feels this investigation has been a witch hunt. So, why would Donald Trump allow him to stay in jail?”