Mar 28, 2018

Report: Trump lawyer floated pardons for Flynn & Manafort

Trump's former attorney John Dowd. Photo: Jin Lee / Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Trump's former lawyer John Dowd suggested to Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort's lawyers that Trump would pardon them if they did not work with Robert Mueller's probe into the Trump campaign's relationship with Russia during the 2016 election, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The discussion about pardons came as Mueller was closing in on Flynn and Manafort, and could indicate that the White House was intending to influence the former Trump associates' decisions on whether to cooperate with the investigation.

Details, according to the Times:

  • Dowd didn't know that Flynn had accepted a plea deal and had told Flynn's lawyer that the President didn't believe the case against him, according to one of the Times' sources.
  • It's not clear that Dowd talked to Trump before approaching Flynn and Manafort's lawyers about pardons.
  • Dowd and the President's other lawyers denied that there were any discussions of pardons.
  • If there was an offer of a pardon, there's division among legal experts over whether it would constitute obstruction of justice.

Go deeper

What a post-pandemic space industry might look like

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic could spell major trouble for dozens of small companies working to break into the space industry.

The big picture: SpaceX, United Launch Alliance and other companies are well-established with strong customer bases and robust portfolios, but the prospects for the industry's growth hinge on smaller companies.

Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill

Glenn Fine, acting Pentagon watchdog

President Trump on Monday replaced the Pentagon's acting Inspector General Glenn Fine, who had been selected to chair the panel overseeing the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed last month, Politico first reported.

Why it matters: A group of independent federal watchdogs selected Fine to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, but Fine's removal from his Pentagon job prevents from being able to serve in that position — since the law only allows sitting inspectors general to fill the role.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 1,365,004— Total deaths: 76,507 — Total recoveries: 292,467Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 369,069 — Total deaths: 11,018 — Total recoveries: 20,003Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: Peter Navarro warned White House colleagues in late January about the massive potential risks from the coronavirus.
  4. Federal government latest: The public wants the federal government, not states, in charge of coronavirus — Testing capacity is still lagging far enough behind demand.
  5. States update: New York death toll surged to its highest one-day total as state predicts a plateau in hospitalizations.
  6. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks the governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting until June.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.