Reports say outgoing President of the United States, Donald Trump, is expected to offer pardon to more than 100 Americans as his tenure winds down on Wednesday, January 20, when President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in.
According to Washington Post, Trump had, on Sunday, held a “meeting with his daughter Ivanka, son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and other aides to discuss possible pardons and commutations.”
At the meeting, Trump reportedly mooted the idea of granting widespread pardons or commutting of sentences of more than 100 people in his final hours in office, and could announce the decisions today, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.
One of the sources said Trump and other aides spent a significant portion of the meeting reviewing a long list of pardon requests, as well as lingering questions about their appeals
“The president was personally engaged with the details of specific cases.
“In the past few weeks, the President has been particularly consumed with the question of whether to issue preemptive pardons to his adult children, top aides and himself,” the source said.
The other source who was present at the meeting said Presidential aides no longer expect a preemptive self-pardon or pardons for any family members, but the situation could always change with a “volatile and mercurial president like Trump.”
“Neither President Trump nor his children have been charged with crimes, and they are not known to be under federal investigation.
But the question of a presidential self-pardon has become more urgent and controversial since the January 6 storming of the Capitol by Trump’s supporters.”
Trump has been besieged by lobbyists and lawyers for well-heeled clients who are seeking to have their criminal convictions pardoned, as well as by advocates for criminal justice reform who argue that their clients were wrongly convicted or were given unfair sentences and deserve to be freed from prison.
While some aides believe Trump could face criminal liability for inciting the crowd, others think a self-pardon, never before attempted by a president, would be of dubious constitutionality, which could anger Senate Republicans preparing to serve as key jurors at Trump’s impeachment trial and would amount to an admission of guilt that could be used against him in potential civil litigation related to the Capitol attacks.
One person who is said to be under consideration for a pardon is rapper and music executive, Lil Wayne, who was charged with carrying a loaded handgun from California to Florida on his private jet.
He was barred from owning the gun because of past felony convictions, including a weapons charge.
Lil Wayne later met with Trump and posed for photos five days before the November 3, 2020 election, and in the process, got sticks from other musicians and activists for posting the photo to social media and crediting Trump with helping the Black community.
So far, Trump has granted pardon to 94 people, mostly friends and political allies, including 49 in the week before Christmas.
They have included people convicted in the special counsel investigation that dominated his first two years in office, such as his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and longtime confidant Roger Stone.
Just before Thanksgiving, Trump pardoned Michael Flynn, who had briefly served as his first national security adviser and later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during its investigation of Russian interference in Trump’s 2016 election win.
Other pardons issued in the closing weeks of Trump’s time in office have gone to Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law, as well as three Republican former members of Congress and four military contractors involved in the killing of unarmed civilians during the Iraq War.