Whom may Donald Trump pardon earlier than his presidency ends? | Information Information
Last-minute presidential pardons have a long history for outgoing US presidents, and Trump is no exception.
On his last full day in office on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump – who is himself exposed to legal danger – is expected to announce the pardon of more than 100 people, local media reported, ending a turbulent four-year term.
So far it is unclear who is on this list.
But Trump, who faces a Senate trial for allegedly inducing a violent crowd of supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, has reportedly even considered pardoning himself and his children preventively.
Last minute pardons from the president have long been the norm for outgoing US presidents. Although the authority was established to give the president the humanitarian authority to overturn false beliefs, convert unduly harsh sentences for rehabilitated persons, or a gesture of mercy, many presidents have used this power as favors for supporters and allies. And Trump seems to be on the right track to continue that tradition.
The US Constitution gives the President the power to “grant reprieve and pardon for crimes against the United States”. [Gerald Herbert/AP Photo]
What is a presidential pardon?
The US Constitution gives the President the power to “grant reprieve and pardon for crimes against the United States”.
But a president can only pardon federal crimes, not state crimes. And he can’t make excuses for impeachment in Congress.
Legal experts found that a pardon does not cancel a conviction, but rather releases the person from punishment – such as jail time or fines – under that conviction.
While most pardons are given to those who have already been convicted in court, they can also be preventative and cover behavior that has not been prosecuted or resulted in a conviction, but cannot be applied to future crimes.
Perhaps the most famous example of preventive pardons in US history is that of President Gerald Ford, who pardoned his predecessor Richard Nixon after resigning in 1974 for any crimes he may have committed while in office.
Trump could apologize for his former campaign advisor Steve Bannon, co-founder of far-right Breitbart News [Ettore Ferrari/EPA-EFE]
Who could Trump forgive?
According to various news reports, Trump could apologize for his former campaign advisor Steve Bannon, co-founder of the far-right Breitbart News. He was accused last year of lying to donors about how their contributions would be used in a campaign to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
He could also apologize to his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. The federal prosecutor’s office has investigated his business in Ukraine and two of his employees have already been charged.
Who has Trump pardoned so far?
According to the Justice Department, Trump has pardoned 94 people and granted commutations since he took office. Most were friends and allies.
In particular, he pardoned former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former advisor Roger Stone and former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who were convicted as part of a special investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US elections.
He also pardoned Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law Jared. The real estate developer was sentenced to two years in prison in 2005 for illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness manipulation.
Donald Trump applauds with Donald Trump, Jr., left, and Ivanka Trump as his son Eric Trump speaks to delegates on day three of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio [File: Matt Rourke/AP Photo]
Can he forgive his children?
Yes, Trump can and may forgive his adult children Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka, all three of whom have played prominent roles in the White House and for his campaign. So far, no one has been officially charged with crimes.
Can Trump forgive himself?
There is no precedent for this as no US president has done this. It is therefore left to the courts to decide whether Trump has the legal authority to apologize under the Constitution.
Trumps could face legal issues arising from his alleged role in persuading his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 during a fiery hour-long speech.
A call to Georgian Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger on January 2nd could also put him in legal danger. During a leaked audio recording, he was heard calling on Raffensperger to “find” the votes he needed to win the state of Joe Biden – a move that could be interpreted as an attempt to intervene in an election that got one Constitutes a violation of federal law.
There is also speculation that Trump may be involved in investigations into former employees or even new investigations may start after he resigns. However, there are several state and local investigations against Trump and his companies that would not be covered by a presidential pardon.