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Home / US / When Trump wrestles with defeat, pardons for allies and himself

When Trump wrestles with defeat, pardons for allies and himself



From campaign aides to his family members-maybe even himself-Trump can use his broad pardon power to try to solve legal problems on the way out.

Current and former Trump administration officials stated that because Trump is still carrying out questionable legal challenges to the election, he has little preparation for the expected leniency. But his Twitter feed for the past three years has provided a job list of places where the president might exercise his power of pardon-mainly against the targets of the investigation by former special counsel Robert Mueller.

The biggest imminent issue of pardon may be whether Trump will consider granting a pardon because the state has investigated other business and financial conditions and the prospect of federal investigators reviewing him after he leaves.

The former aide told CNN that since 201

7, Trump has been asking his aides whether he can pardon himself. A former White House official said Trump asked about his pardon and the pardon for his family. The former official said Trump even asked him if he could issue a pardon for things people might be charged in the future.

The official said: “Once he knew this, he was fascinated by the power of pardon.” “I always thought he liked it too, because it was a help.”

However, Trump’s pardon will only cover federal crimes and will not protect him or others from ongoing investigations into the Trump Organization led by the New York Attorney General and the Manhattan District Attorney.

Trump’s former aides are divided on whether Trump will truly consider forgiving himself. Some people think this is almost certain-the former official said: “Of course he will.” Others think this is unlikely because it implies that he is guilty.

Highly personal process

To date, Trump’s record of presidential pardons-as in his other terms-has been characterized by personal relationships, acting demeanor, and aversion to passing through official government channels.

A spokeswoman said that the Attorney’s Office of Patton, the Justice Department bureaucracy that is usually active in reviewing applications for leniency, was excluded from the highly personalised process of Trump’s decision to pardon, among 27 pardons issued by Trump Only eight have played a role.

Instead, the beneficiary won forgiveness by asking Trump from friends who talked to the president, Fox News celebrities or Hollywood celebrities. This unusual channel has worked for people such as former Arizona Sheriff Joe Alpaio, right-wing commentator Dineche De Souza, and financier Michael Milken convicted of securities fraud.

At the urging of Kim Kardashian West (Kim Kardashian West), Trump also granted a pardon, who handed down the verdict in the Oval Office. Earlier this year, he commuted the sentence of his longtime confidante Roger Stone (Roger Stone), whose conviction stemmed from Mueller’s investigation.

Trump’s arrangement may benefit people close to the president, because Trump claims that they are openly targeted for prosecution and these people are already on his radar.

The ones most likely to benefit are the former Trump campaign aides who were convicted following an investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller: Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos (George Papadopoulos) Papadopoulos), Paul Manafort (Paul Manafort), etc. Trump has long claimed that he and his campaign are illegal targets, and his campaign associates are only in trouble because of their connections with him.

Several officials said that Flynn-who pleaded guilty to Mueller after the Justice Department tried to fire him earlier this year-will be at the top of Trump’s list of pardons.

Trump has previously given no forgiveness to witnesses who testify in front of special counsel (including Manafort and Flynn), and Mueller’s report details Trump’s public discussion of pardons involving possible obstruction of justice .

Sources said that other potential beneficiaries of Trump’s duck pardon include his son Jared Kushner’s father, Charles Kushner, who was arrested by the US at the time more than ten years ago. Attorney Chris Christie sued. You can also consider Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg (Allen Weisselberg), who was exempted in the Michael Cohen case, and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy, who is under federal investigation. · Rudy Giuliani.

The White House declined to comment on the matter.

The idea of ​​a president using pardons on the way out is nothing new. On his last day in office, former President Bill Clinton pardoned his brother Roger Clinton’s elder brother for a decade of drug charges and rejected Mark Rich, who was charged with tax evasion and fled the United States. President Bush pardoned his former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberg for his role in the Iranian opposition scandal.

“Absolute Right”

Over the years, the idea of ​​self-pardon has provoked Trump’s liberal critics. Trump himself made it clear on Twitter that he thought of this idea. “As many legal scholars have said, I myself have the absolute right to pardon myself, but if I did nothing wrong, why would I do it?” Trump tweeted in June 2018.

Trump’s legal team and government officials downplayed this prospect. There is no precedent for doing so. The constitutionality of this pardon has not been tested by the Constitution, and legal experts have expressed disagreements on whether it is legal.

The Justice Department studied the issues of the Nixon era and concluded that the president’s power to pardon himself does not belong to him. The Office of the Legal Counsel wrote in August 1974: “Under the basic rule that no one is a judge at all, the president cannot forgive himself.”

The OLC memo lists other possibilities that Trump can use: he can temporarily declare that he is unable to perform his duties as president, allow the vice president to serve as president, including issuing a pardon, and the president can continue to perform his duties. Serve as president or resign. The OLC memo also stated that Congress can pass legislative pardons.

Several people familiar with the matter said that despite the president’s interest, the White House Counsel’s Office led by Don McGahn, Ty Cobb and Emmet Flood No research has been conducted on this matter, and it is not believed to be very likely.

One person said: “He has been asking things-asking everyone.”

A former official said that Trump is so fascinated by his power of pardon that senior officials sometimes conduct research on the matter just to get Trump out of another topic they want to avoid.

There are precedents for preemptive pardons. Former President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon after he resigned. But another former senior White House official warned that Trump would forgive himself because it showed that he had done the criminal activities that required it.

The official said that another reason for the less likely is that the pardon only applies to so-called federal crimes, which means it will not prevent the New York State Attorney General or the Manhattan District Attorney from investigating him.

Last month, Trump’s son, Eric Trump, participated in the testimony negotiations. This is New York’s Attorney General Lemitia James on whether the Trump Organization exaggerated Tron. Part of the survey of general asset value.
The Manhattan District Attorney, Cy Vance, is still fighting for Trump’s tax returns in court as part of his investigation of the Trump Organization.




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