President Donald Trump has discussed granting presidential pardon to three of his children and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani before he leaves office and before one of them is charged with potential crimes, according to several American media.
ABC News and the New York Times both reported that Trump had discussed preventive pardons with advisers, expressing fears that his successor, President-elect Joe Biden, would unfairly target them when he took office in January. Pardons could benefit Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, as well as Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner. Ivanka Trump and Kushner have also served as White House advisers in the Trump administration.
Trump has begun granting presidential pardons to longtime former aides and supporters. Last month, he pardoned former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who has twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian official during the transition before taking office. Trump in 2017.
None of the five people mentioned above have been charged with a crime, and it is unclear from what impropriety a pardon would seek to protect them. Presidential pardons provide protections against federal crimes, but they do not protect against local or state-level crimes. Pardons are traditionally sought through petitions made to a federal pardon prosecutor at least five years after a conviction or release from prison.
Trump’s older children repeatedly clashed with federal investigators during their father’s tenure in the White House. Donald Trump Jr. has come under scrutiny for his contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign as part of Special Prosecutor’s Robert Mueller investigation, although he has not been charged. Kushner also drew attention when he failed to mention foreign contacts in his request for a White House security clearance. Intelligence officials have expressed concerns over granting access to Kushner, but Trump stepped in to unilaterally grant the “top secret” authorization.
Giuliani, one of Trump’s most virulent substitutes and a key figure behind the discredited attempt to undermine the results of the 2020 election, reportedly apologized directly to the White House before any criminal charges (Giuliani tweeted that this statement, published by the Times, was a “#fakenews»).
Some of Trump’s allies have urged the president to grant pardons before he leaves office. Fox News host Sean Hannity said Monday that Trump “has to forgive himself and his whole family” upon his release.
“I guess the power of forgiveness is absolute and he should be able to forgive whomever he wants,” the Tory commentator said on his radio show.
Adding to the turmoil surrounding the president’s final days, court documents revealed on Tuesday that the Justice Department had spent months investigating a system of “corruption against grace”. The documents did not mention any specific individual or specify the dates of the alleged actions, but seemed to indicate an active investigation that may soon lead to charges.
This text originally published on the HuffPost United States has been translated from English.