President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to issue a bevy of pardons on Tuesday, his last full day in office, ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
CNN White House correspondent Jeremy Diamond told The Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer, that according to three different sources, Trump plans to pardon about 100 people.
“The pardons, we’re told, are expected to include a mixture of more controversial pardons to white-collar criminals, some high-profile rappers, as well as potentially some of the president’s political allies, but also in this batch several pardons that are more criminal-justice-reform-minded” such as the commutation of Alice Johnson’s sentence in 2018, Diamond reported.
“This final batch of clemency actions…will really cap off weeks of a scramble by the president’s political allies to try and secure pardons either for themselves or for other people,” Diamond continued.
He cited a Sunday New York Times report claiming that some of President Trump’s associates are “collecting fees from wealthy felons or their associates to push the White House for clemency.”
“The pardon lobbying heated up as it became clear that Mr. Trump had no recourse for challenging his election defeat, lobbyists and lawyers say,” the report continued.
Diamond went on to say that the president had no plans to issue a pre-emptive “self-pardon,” though Trump has not been charged with any crimes.
“We’re told that the idea of a self-pardon…the chances of that have really gone down in the wake of these riots that took place on Jan. 6, because of the optics of the president pardoning himself, potentially, that he is now being impeached for,” Diamond continued.
Blitzer asked if any Trump “family members” and “close friends” as well as the Capitol Building “rioters,” were being considered for pardons.
“We don’t yet know where the president has landed on that,” Diamond said, which could include a potential preemptive pardon for presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
As for the rioters, Diamond said Trump is being advised not to issue them pardons.
He went on to note that close ally Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has advised President Trump not to pardon anyone who breached the Capitol.
“You tried to intimidate us all; you should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Graham told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on Sunday.
“To seek a pardon of these people would be wrong,” he continued. “I think it would destroy President Trump, and I hope we don’t go down that road.”
Graham went on to say that he didn’t care if rioters who breached the Capitol came in and “spread flowers on the floor.”
“There are a lot of people urging the president to pardon folks who participated in defiling the Capitol, the rioters,” Graham said. “I don’t care if you went there and spread flowers on the floor, you breached the security of the Capitol, you interrupted a joint session of Congress.”
Graham went on to blast Democrats for their unprecedented, and rushed, second impeachment of Trump, while warning fellow Republicans against convicting him after he leaves office.
“If we embrace an unconstitutional impeachment of Donald Trump after he’s out of office, it will destroy the party,” he said.
“President Trump’s going to be the most important voice in the Republican party for a long time to come. He’s going to accept responsibility for his part Jan. 6, but impeaching him after he leaves office is not only unconstitutional from a Republican point of view, it would destroy our party.”
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