Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With
This episode details President Trump’s reactions to the indictments of a few of his close associates. Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and Roger Stone find themselves in legal trouble and the president is worried that they will cooperate with investigators. As his former aides contemplate whether to cooperate, the president begins a campaign through public comments and private outreach to convince them that, just maybe, he might be able to help them out. In thinly-veiled remarks to the press and messages through his lawyer, the president teases out the possibility of pardons for the men; if they stay loyal, he will “take care” of them. The Special Counsel reaches varying conclusions about whether different behavior by the president toward his aides constitutes obstruction of justice, but Mueller suggests that some of the president’s conduct meets all the elements of obstruction.