Senator: Pardoning Manafort would be an ‘abuse of power’

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee says if President Donald Trump pardons his former campaign chairman it would be a “blatant and unacceptable abuse of power.”

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia says in a tweet that the presidential pardon power is not a “personal tool” that the president can use to protect “himself and his friends.” The comments came in response to an interview Trump granted to the New York Post.

Trump told the newspaper he hasn’t discussed pardoning Paul Manafort but it’s “not off the table.” The president also says three of his associates are “very brave” for resisting the special counsel’s Russia investigation.

The president’s comments come just days after Manafort’s cooperation agreement fell apart after prosecutors accused him of repeatedly lying to them.

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