Trump pardons anticipated in closing hours of his presidency
President Donald Trump speaks at a Make America Great Again rally at the Civic Center in Charleston, West Virginia.
Leah Millis | Reuters
President Donald Trump is expected to issue a large number of pardons and commutations on Tuesday before Joe Biden’s inauguration as President the next day.
However, several sources familiar with Trump’s thinking do not expect him to pardon himself or close relatives to protect himself from prosecution for possible federal crimes that, in theory, could have been committed before he left office, according to NBC News.
The White House has received a number of pardon requests since Trump lost the election to Biden. Trump is reportedly planning to approve dozens of these requests.
One person with a good chance of a pardon is Lil Wayne, the rapper who pleaded guilty last month to owning a loaded gun on an airplane.
The New York Times reported Monday that Sheldon Silver, the former New York Congregation spokesman, who is serving a 78-month prison sentence for corruption, is also being considered at the mercy of the Trump executive. Grace can include either a pardon or a conversion of the sentence.
Shortly after Biden defeated him, Trump pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to false statements to the FBI about his talks with a Russian diplomat shortly before Trump’s inauguration.
In December, Trump pardoned the gallery of an associated criminal, including his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, Republican political agent and long-time Trump friend Roger Stone, his daughter Ivanka’s father-in-law Charles Kushner, and former campaign advisor George Papadopoulos.
Others Trump pardoned last month included four former Blackwater USA guards convicted of the murder of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2007, disgraced ex-GOP Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins, and Philips Esformes, a Florida health facility owner convicted of prosecution said it was the largest healthcare fraud ever charged by the Justice Department.
Presidential pardons only apply to federal criminal convictions. Presidents do not have the power to excuse people for state crimes.
Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, is currently under criminal investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
The investigation, which originally focused on how the company recorded hush money payments to two women who claimed to have sex with Trump – which denies their allegations – has since been expanded to include questions about how the Trump organization values real estate wealth.