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Earlier in the day, a New York Times report suggested that several allies of Donald Trump “collect fees” to help convicted felons to seek pardons from the outgoing president during his final days in the Oval Office.
The outgoing US president, Donald Trump, is preparing to announce around a hundred presidential pardons on Tuesday, one day before making way for Joe Biden in the White House, CNN reported on Sunday, citing sources.
According to the report, White House aides convened on Sunday to conclude a list of pardons, said to include “white collar criminals, high-profile rappers and others.”
The reported list is said not to include Trump himself, despite multiple reports that he has been considering the move, as one source outlined that the paperwork for a self-pardon has not been drawn up.
CNN initially claimed that “two batches” of pardons were ready to be rolled out, one at the end of last week and one on Tuesday, but Trump backtracked on releasing them after being accused of inciting the deadly 6 January Capitol attack.
As of now, Trump will reportedly roll out all the pardons in one batch, expected to include “a mix of criminal justice reform-minded pardons and more controversial ones secured or doled out to political allies”.
“Everything is a transaction. He likes pardons because it is unilateral. And he likes doing favors for people he thinks will owe him,” one source familiar with the matter said, cited by CNN.
While Trump was pressured to pardon “attention-grabbing” figures like Julian Assange, the latter’s name is not currently believed to be on the upcoming list, which is, however, noted to currently be “fluid”.
REUTERS / HENRY NICHOLLS
A woman holds a placard outside the Westminster Magistrates Court as lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange seek bail for their client in London, Britain January 6, 2021
Recently, reports have suggested that Trump would be issuing additional pardons, alleging that he was considering clemency for his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, a former White House strategist, Steve Bannon, and even for himself.
According to CNN, Trump advisers urged him to refrain from pardoning himself, as it would imply his guilt. Advisers also reportedly recommended that he not pardon those involved in the deadly 6 January siege of the Capitol building, “despite Trump’s initial stance that those involved had done nothing wrong”.
Possible presidential pardons have been attracting attention in light of reports that some Trump allies are able to “monetize” assistance in seeking clemency from the outgoing president, receiving “tens of thousands of dollars” or “possibly more” from convicted felons or others who seek easy release.
Among those already pardoned by Trump are former campaign members Roger Stone and George Papadopoulos, a former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Blackwater miltary contractors convicted of killing unarmed Iraqi civilians inclduing children in Baghdad in 2007.