Pardons – January 18, 2021
(TrueNewsBlog) – President Donald Trump plans to pardon or commute as many as 100 people on his final full day in office, CNN reported.
A list of names was drawn up by Trump on Sunday during a meeting with Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and numerous other aides, The Washington Post reported.
The decisions are expected to be announced Monday or Tuesday, The Post reported.
While the identities of the 100 are not known, some of the president’s allies are said to believe that many of the pardons or commutations will go to people Trump expects to benefit from in the future.
“Everything is a transaction,” a source told CNN. “He likes pardons because it is unilateral. And he likes doing favors for people he thinks will owe him.”
Trump is expected to depart the White House on Wednesday morning — the day of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration — and permanently relocate to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. After that, Trump is said to be considering reviving his TV career, building a $2 billion presidential library, launching a TV or social-media network, or running for president again.
But as his presidency winds down, Trump has been inundated with requests for pardons, including from the “Tiger King” star Joe Exotic and the “Q-Anon Shaman” Jacob Anthony Chansley. And some of Trump’s allies appear to be benefitting even if they aren’t seeking pardons themselves.
On Sunday, The New York Times reported that several people close to the president had collected tens of thousands of dollars each in exchange for helping people seek pardons from Trump. A former CIA officer told The Times that an associate of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, told him that Giuliani could help arrange a pardon for $2 million. Giuliani denied involvement in clemency requests.
Though the identities of the 100 people are still unknown, CNN reported that Dr. Salomon Melgen, an eye doctor from Florida who is in prison after being found guilty of healthcare fraud, was expected to be one of those granted clemency.
Trump is also said to have considered issuing preemptive pardons for allies and, possibly, himself. Preemptive pardons would cover actions that have already taken place but have not yet resulted in criminal charges.
Bloomberg said such pardons were being considered for the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows; senior advisor Stephen Miller; director of personnel, John McEntee; and social-media director, Dan Scavino. The Times reported in early December that Giuliani was under consideration for such a pardon.
For weeks, it has been rumored that Trump was considering preemptive pardons for himself and his immediate family, but a source told Reuters the president was not planning to as of Sunday.
According to CNN and Reuters, aides have for weeks tried to dissuade Trump from issuing a preemptive pardon for himself, saying it may not even work while making him look guilty of crimes for which he might be accused.
Trump has issued a slew of pardons and commutations since losing the 2020 presidential election.
On December 22, Trump pardoned 20 people, including two Trump campaign associates who were ensnared in the FBI’s Russia investigation.