A congressman from Schaumburg is calling on the White House to disclose any efforts it might be undertaking to pardon former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort.
Freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi issued a statement Tuesday following reports that the FBI had wiretapped Manafort and informed him that the bureau intended to bring charges against him.
Krishnamoorthi said from his experience with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's anti-corruption efforts, he knows "the primary reason for informing a target of an upcoming indictment is to secure cooperation or testimony for the ongoing investigation." Krishnamoorthi served as a special assistant attorney general under Madigan before he ran for political office.
If President Donald Trump would pre-emptively pardon Manafort, special prosecutors would be unable to count on Manafort's cooperation to "dig deeper into Russian meddling in our democracy," Krishnamoorthi said.
Krishnamoorthi in July introduced the Presidential Pardon Transparency Act, which would require the U.S. attorney general to publish on the White House website information regarding any reprieves or pardons issued by the president.
At the moment, the president does not have a legal responsibility to inform either Congress or the general public of a pardon.
"This investigation is a matter of utmost importance to the health of our republic. With each new revelation, the American people's trust in the integrity of our democratic institutions erodes. A functioning democracy cannot stand when its people do not trust their leaders to uphold the law," Krishnamoorthi wrote in his Sept. 19 letter to the White House special counsel.