Top Democrats Call Report Trump Considering Pardons “Disturbing”
Disturbing Two top Democrats on committees investigating alleged Russian meddling in last year’s election have expressed concerns about a report President Donald Trump is considering issuing pardons to individuals involved in the probe.
Senator Mark Warner, D-Virg., and Congressman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., both issued statements calling the report “disturbing.”
Warner is Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, while Schiff is ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee.
The statements by Warner and Schiff come after a report from the Washington Post said Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the investigation.
“The possibility that the President is considering pardons at this early stage in these ongoing investigations is extremely disturbing,” Warner said. “Pardoning any individuals who may have been involved would be crossing a fundamental line.”
Schiff also called the report “disturbing” and said the possibility of issuing parsons was something the president “should rule out categorically.”
Trump’s lawyers have disputed the report, however, with Jay Sekulow telling CBS News, “Pardons are not being discussed and are not on the table.”
“There is no doubt that Mueller has the authority to investigate anything that arises from his investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, including financial links,” Schiff said.Schiff also defended special counsel Robert Mueller amid reports his investigation is being expanded to include the president’s business transactions.
He added, “Indeed, this is a very important part of Mueller’s responsibility given that any financial impropriety between Russia and the Trump organization, such as money laundering, could represent just the kind of ‘kompromat’ that Russia could utilize to influence administration policy.”
Trump suggested in an interview with the New York Times on Wednesday that Mueller would be crossing a “red line” by looking into his and his family’s finances.