Donald Trump mocked for rushing to cry 'fake news' over 'bribery-for-pardon' probe: 'The walls are closing in'
'Pardon investigation is Fake News!' Trump wrote after it was reported that the ongoing investigation may involve at least two individuals who 'acted as lobbyists to senior White House officials'
After federal court documents unsealed by the chief judge for the federal court in Washington showed that investigators are looking into a potential “bribery-for-pardon” scheme involving presidential pardons, President Donald Trump took to Twitter in an attempt to disprove the news.
"Pardon investigation is Fake News!" he wrote, after NBC News reported that the ongoing investigation may involve at least two individuals who "acted as lobbyists to senior White House officials, without complying with the registration requirement of the Lobbying Disclosure Act … to secure ‘a pardon or reprieve of sentence for' one individual whose name is redacted.
The documents, unveiled on Tuesday, December 1, were heavily redacted and did not name the individuals involved or Trump. It also was not made clear if any White House officials had knowledge of the scheme.
Pardon investigation is Fake News!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2020
“No government official was or is currently a subject or target of the investigation disclosed in this filing," a Justice Department official said. The documents were seized as a result of a search warrant. The documents also talked about an alleged offer by another individual to “offer a substantial political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon or reprieve of sentence.”
Trump's scream tweet about the legitimacy of the investigation was ridiculed by liberals. The general consensus among commenters was that the POTUS confirmed the report just by addressing it on social media. "We appreciate this confirmation that it is in fact, true," one user said while another noted, "Man it's hard to leave the oval office I feel yah." A third commented, "Don’t look at me, look over there! (Takes the Faberge egg and runs off)." One more remarked, "Means it is true."
A user said, "Ahhh, so now we know its true." One tweeted, "Pre-emptive pardons may be trending soon." A person reacted with, "Let me guess; they don’t agree with you?" Another commented, "Good to know! We’ll remind you if you decide otherwise!" One wrote, "Translation: I’m guilty and I’m nervous about this!" Another said, "The walls are closing in."
We appreciate this confirmation that it is in fact, true.— Geraldine (@divageraldine1) December 2, 2020
Man it's hard to leave the oval office I feel yah🙄— Evans Ngare Ngea (@Ngea19) December 2, 2020
True then.— Sarah (@Sarahcouz73) December 2, 2020
Ahhh, so now we know its true— Macy Tindel (@phrenicphreak) December 2, 2020
Pre-emptive pardons may be trending soon.— b0bbi evans (@holymackere) December 2, 2020
Let me guess; they don’t agree with you?— Andrew O'Brien (@obs1971) December 2, 2020
Good to know! We’ll remind you if you decide otherwise!— Dolpff (@Dolpff) December 2, 2020
Translation: I’m guilty and I’m nervous about this!— Nate_polisci 1 (@Nato_true_cons) December 2, 2020
The walls are closing in.— Chris Papalia (@papalia_chris) December 2, 2020
Don’t look at me, look over there! (Takes the Faberge egg and runs off)— Spencer Beier (@BirchBumBingo) December 2, 2020
In another report by NBC News, multiple sources familiar with the matter told the outlet that Trump has been discussing the possibility of issuing pardons for his family members. Apparently, the topic of the pardons came up not because Trump believes he or any family members did anything illegal but because the president reportedly felt embattled.
The New York Times had previously reported that Trump was considering granting pre-emptive pardons for his three eldest children — Eric and Donald Jr and White House advisor Ivanka Trump — along with his son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Although reports said that Trump had talked with Giuliani about pardoning him as recently as last week, the former New York mayor has denied that to NBC News, calling it "a lie" and that the reports are “totally false.” Trump last week granted a "full pardon" for his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.