Donald Trump discussed presidential pardons of Don Jr, Eric, Ivanka, Jared Kushner and Rudy Giuliani: Report
The outgoing president is worried that the incoming administration led by Joe Biden may seek retribution against him by targeting his family
With chances of him turning around the results of the November 3 presidential election fast evaporating, President Donald Trump could now look to make use of other options that he has at his disposal. The incumbent is reportedly in talks with his aides and advisers about granting pardons to his three eldest children -- Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump -- besides son-in-law Jared Kushner and personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
According to a report in The New York Times on December 1, Trump has expressed anxiety that the new administration of Joe Biden may seek retribution against him by targeting his eldest children, who have engaged themselves with his political and business ventures in some capacities. The president is worried even though Biden said recently that his administration will not prosecute him.
Presidential pardons have become a hot subject of discussion in recent days as Trump’s term nears its end. Fox News’s Sean Hannity, for instance, suggested during a talk show with Trump’s former attorney Sidney Powell that the president should pardon himself and his family as a measure of protection from being prosecuted by the new administration. It has been debated if the president can pardon himself even though the incumbent has even asked his advisers whether he could issue pardons pre-emptively for things people could be later charged with.
Donald Trump Jr had been facing a probe for having contacts with Russians offering sensitive information on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign. He was investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller but was never charged. According to the NYT report, Kushner, who has served as a senior adviser to the president, gave false information to federal officials about his links with foreigners for his security clearance.
It was not clear, however, as to why Trump was worried about potential criminal problems for Ivanka and Eric although legal problems have added up for his daughter, also a senior presidential adviser, of late. The Times have reported recently that an investigation by the Manhattan district attorney into the Trump Organization is now including tax write-offs on millions in consulting fees, some of which might have gone to Ivanka.
Has Giuliani sought pre-emptive presidential pardon?
Giuliani, who has also faced flak over his role in support of Trump, reportedly spoke to the president about the possibility of getting a pre-emptive pardon before the president vacated the White House. The veteran lawyer has been battling on in favor of Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election has been compromised and even seeking to convince a number of key states that went for Biden to overturn their results. However, Trump has been too impressed with Giuliani, who was even barred by the Republican chair to attend an election hearing in Michigan on Tuesday because he had no “first-hand knowledge”. The former New York mayor has also reportedly been under probe by federal prosecutors in the Big Apple over his work in Ukraine, which even saw Trump getting impeached by the House.
The issue of presidential pardon has gained traction ever since Trump pardoned the day before Thanksgiving former national security adviser Mike Flynn, who had pleaded to lying to the FBI about his Russia links but sought to withdraw the plea in court.
Giuliani slammed the Times on Twitter accusing it of lying. “#FakeNews NYT lies again. Never had the discussion they falsely attribute to an anonymous source. Hard to keep up with all their lies,” he wrote. On Tuesday, Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, who helped the former in targeting the Bidens in Ukraine, responded to Giuliani tweet saying: “Pardons were always discussed in the #TrumpCult. The question is will you accept one? Innocent people don’t need a pardon.”
#FakeNews NYT lies again. Never had the discussion they falsely attribute to an anonymous source. Hard to keep up with all their lies.— Rudy W. Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) December 1, 2020
In the past, President Gerald Ford had used his pardon power to give relief to his disgraced predecessor Richard Nixon but ended up paying a heavy electoral price in the next election.