Assume that a defendant (assume Paul Manafort or other indicted figure in the Mueller investigation) accepts a plea deal that requires their cooperation in related cases. The terms of the deal are not part of the ultimate sentence, but a condition to lessen their penalties.

If the President then pardons that person, are they still bound to an obligation to cooperate?

1 Answer 1


In general, if a defendant fails to fulfill his obligations under the deal, the deal can be voided by the prosecution – meaning that defendant can then be prosecuted (and may not be able to suppress use of statements that he made). But a pardon would trump the government's restored ability to prosecute. Here is a sample federal plea bargain.

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