With 12 words, President Donald Trump sent the media into a tizzy.
When asked by a New York Post reporter if he would pardon his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Trump said: “It was never discussed, but I wouldn’t take it off the table.”
“Why would I take it off the table?” Trump added.
Caught in a Web
Manafort is one of many people who have been caught in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s web.
During his investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign team and Russia, Manafort faced charges on filing false tax returns, failure to reveal foreign bank accounts, bank fraud, and bank fraud conspiracy.
When all was said and done, Manafort ended up taking a plea deal.
But that deal was blown to bits this week when the FBI said Manafort had lied to investigators repeatedly, thereby nullifying the agreement.
On Monday, Mueller announced cooperation between Manafort and the government was over so the judge could move forward with sentencing the former campaign staffer.
How Did He Know?
The question everyone is asking now is how Mueller knew Manafort was lying to him during the investigation.
A very serious possibility is that Manafort was providing false testimony about information Mueller has already uncovered.
But will Trump let his former campaign chairman off for it?
Trump was clearly upset when Mueller bagged Manafort and has spoken about the “unfairness” of the entire ordeal already.
However, if Trump does pardon Manafort, it would likely lead to significant political fallout.
Perhaps a pardon could occur after the 2020 presidential election, when the political ramifications would be irrelevant — at least to Trump.
But only time will tell.