Trump To Issue Around 100 Pardons Tomorrow On Final Day As President
Donald Trump is expected to issue around 100 pardons on his final day as president before Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20.
Biden will officially take over the White House on Wednesday after winning the 2020 presidential election, but three people familiar with the matter have said Trump plans on making the most of his last day in charge.
The president issued a series of pardons and commutations of sentence before Christmas, but put things on hold on the days leading up to and following the January 6 riots, when he encouraged his supporters to protest the election results.
There were reportedly initially two major batches of clemency actions set to roll out; one at the end of last week and one tomorrow. Now, officials anticipate that the last batch will be the only one that goes ahead, unless the president decides to make any last-minute changes to who he plans to pardon.
He is not expected to pardon himself tomorrow, but will issue around 100 pardons and commutations to white collar criminals, high-profile rappers – including Lil Wayne – and others, according to the sources cited by CNN.
Two people with knowledge of the situation said the White House held a meeting on Sunday to finalise the list of pardons.
The batch of clemency actions is expected to include a mix of criminal justice reform-minded pardons, as well as more controversial ones secured or handed out to political allies.
Trump’s allies expect that he will issue pardons that will benefit him in the future, with one source noting that ‘everything is a transaction’.
They said, ‘He likes pardons because it is unilateral. And he likes doing favours for people he thinks will owe him.’
Fox News reports Lil Wayne is expected to be on the list, after the rapper controversially endorsed Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign.
The rapper last year pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a loaded, gold-plated .45-caliber handgun while travelling to Florida on a private jet in 2019. The contents of Carter’s bag also included small amounts of cocaine, ecstasy and oxycodone, according to the U.S. attorney.
A report from the The New York Times alleged that some of the president’s allies have been taking money from people in exchange for potential pardons from the White House, with Trump’s former lawyer John M. Dowd reportedly marketing himself as an individual who could secure pardons on account of his close relationship with the president.
Trump has been known to want to pardon himself, his children, and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, but the likelihood of that move has been impacted, as he was impeached for a second time.
A source told CNN that advisers warned against Trump pardoning himself because it would appear like he was guilty of something after the insurrection.
Aides reportedly do not think he will attempt to pardon himself, but note that only the president knows how he will utilise his remaining power.
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