White House: No pardons under consideration for Manafort, Flynn

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In a federal court filing Tuesday, Mueller described the associate of Gates and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort as "Person A" and said Gates was aware of the person's links to the GRU intelligence service.

The documents, filed late on Tuesday night by the special prosecutor Robert Mueller, also state that Gates had admitted knowing that the associate was a former officer with Russian military intelligence, the GRU.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied Wednesday that President Donald Trump's former lead attorney had raised the issue of pardons for former aides in the Russian Federation probe, as was reported by The New York Times.

Both Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates were indicted past year for money laundering and other financial crimes committed while, the charges said, they tried to hide the money they received for their Ukraine work.

Flynn has since taken a plea deal from Mueller and is now a convicted felon and co-operating witness with the probe.

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

Sanders left ample wiggle room for aides and the president himself to argue they never ruled out pardons. There was no reason to talk about pardons.

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.

Dowd spoke about a pardon with Manafort's lawyer, Reginald Brown, before Manafort was indicted last October, according to the Times. Mueller was appointed to investigate any links between Trump associates and Russian Federation, as well as other matters that arise out of his investigation.

"The full truth is that it's stone cold stupidity on his part if he actually did it", Rosenzweig added.

Legal experts were split on whether such a discussion would amount to obstruction of justice, even if Dowd broached the idea with Trump before talking to lawyers for Manafort and Flynn - a point that the New York Times said remained unclear.

And in comments to reporters in December, Trump hinted at the possibility that he might pardon Flynn.

President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman is asking a judge in Virginia to dismiss bank fraud and tax evasion charges filed against him. "We'll see what happens".

"We're very confident in that and look forward to this process wrapping up". Mueller is now apparently directly disputing that using Gates's own words.