Trump to dole out up to 100 pardons in next 72 hours

Mayank Aggarwal
·2 min read
<p>File image: Donald Trump may issue dozens of pardons on the eve of the inauguration, including many deemed controversial</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

File image: Donald Trump may issue dozens of pardons on the eve of the inauguration, including many deemed controversial

(AFP via Getty Images)

Donald Trump is reportedly planning to dole out up to 100 pardons and commutations of sentence, which could include some white-collar criminals, in the hours he has remaining in the White House before president-elect Joe Biden assumes office.

On Sunday, a meeting was held in the White House to finalise the list of pardons which – as of now – does not include the name of the president himself. Since losing the 3 November elections, Mr Trump has issued pardons to at least 45 people but had paused while gearing up for the 6 January session of the US Congress, which certified Mr Biden’s victory.

According to CNN News, the list on Tuesday is expected to include criminal justice reform-minded pardons as well as those for some of his most controversial allies. The list could yet be subject to change, and it remained uncertain whether the president will pardon his former adviser Steve Bannon – someone who Mr Trump has got back in touch with since the election.

Mr Trump had been expected to issue a new set of pardons after the 6 January session of Congress, but the deadly riots at the Capitol derailed the process. The riots and Mr Trump’s second impeachment have also reportedly impacted the likelihood of Mr Trump pardoning himself, his children or his lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

The president has been advised to not pardon anyone involved in the riots on the US Capitol even as some accused of being present, such as Jacob Anthony Chansle who was allegedly pictured wearing fur, horns, white and blue face paint inside the Capitol, have called on Mr Trump to do so.

The list of pardons could include a prominent eye doctor from Florida, Dr Salomon Melgen, who is in prison after being convicted for health care fraud.

The US president has already pardoned former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his son-in-law’s father Charles Kushner and allies such as Roger Stone, who was convicted in the Robert Mueller investigation of lying to Congress.

A report by the New York Times, quoting documents and interviews with dozens of lobbyists and lawyers, has alleged that some of the president’s allies are collecting money from wealthy persons in exchange for potential pardons from the White House.

Entering the last mile of his controversy-laden presidency, Mr Trump is said to have not just pardons but also the declassification of several important documents on his agenda.

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