An associate of Rudy Giuliani told a former CIA officer that a Trump pardon would 'cost $2 million': report
An associate of Rudy Giuliani told a former CIA operative seeking a presidential pardon that Giuliani could help arrange one for $2 million, The New York Times reported.
Giuliani disputed the ex-CIA officer's account, telling The Times that his helping someone obtain a pardon would be a conflict of interest.
The Times reported that several people with connections to President Donald Trump had accepted large sums of money from people seeking pardons.
An associate of Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, told a former CIA officer seeking a presidential pardon that Giuliani could help arrange one for $2 million, The New York Times reported Sunday.
The detail came as part of a wide-ranging Times report indicating that several people close to the president had collected large sums of money in exchange for helping people seek pardons.
John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative, was sentenced to 30 months in prison in 2012 for disclosing the identity of a fellow officer involved in waterboarding. Kiriakou told The Times that he had sought a pardon through other people with connections to the president - in order to carry a handgun and access his pension - but that the topic came up during an unrelated boozy meeting with Giuliani and his associates at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.
Kiriakou told The Times that at one point, when Giuliani went to the restroom, one of the meeting attendees said that Giuliani could help but that "it's going to cost $2 million - he's going to want two million bucks."
Kiriakou did not pursue the offer, according to The Times.
"I laughed. Two million bucks - are you out of your mind?" Kiriakou told the outlet. "Even if I had two million bucks, I wouldn't spend it to recover a $700,000 pension."
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A friend of Kiriakou's reported the meeting to the FBI, disturbed that Giuliani might be selling presidential pardons, The Times reported. But Giuliani disputed the idea he was doing so, telling the outlet that he did not recall the meeting described by Kiriakou and that working on clemency cases while working as the president's lawyer would constitute a conflict of interest.
The Times reported that multiple people with connections to Trump, including his former lawyer John Dowd and his former campaign advisor Karen Giorno, had accepted tens of thousands of dollars in payments from people seeking pardons. It said there was no evidence Trump himself had been offered money.
Presidents routinely embark on a pardoning frenzy as they prepare to leave office, but Trump, rarely one to follow norms, has caught heat for using pardons primarily to reward his allies, fellow Republican politicians, and people close to his family.
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Trump has pardoned several people who were charged in connection to the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. They include his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was convicted of tax and bank fraud and was serving a 7-1/2-year prison sentence.
Roger Stone, a longtime Trump associate who was convicted of obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying to investigators in connection to the special counsel's investigation, also received a pardon. Trump also pardoned Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who pleaded guilty to charges including witness tampering and tax evasion and served two years in prison.
Trump has also reportedly floated preemptive pardons - covering conduct that has already taken place but not yet resulted in charges - for his family members, Giuliani, and himself.
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