Court papers detail alleged White House ‘bribery-for-pardon’ scheme

Graeme Massie
<p>The Justice Department is investigating a potential White House ‘bribery for pardon’ scheme according to newly unsealed court papers</p> (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Justice Department is investigating a potential White House ‘bribery for pardon’ scheme according to newly unsealed court papers

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Court documents have detailed the alleged White Housebribery-for-pardon” scheme being investigated by the Justice department.

The documents are heavily redacted and do not name who is being investigated, Donald Trump, or if the White House even knew of the alleged scheme.

The court papers, which date back to August, were unsealed by the chief judge for the federal court in Washington DC and discuss if prosecutors can review seized documents that may be protected by attorney-client privilege.

It is linked to an ongoing investigation that may involve at least two people who “acted as lobbyists to senior White House officials."

In the documents the government stated that its “filter team” had obtained “over 50 digital media devices” and emails that “indicated criminal activity.”

“Namely a ‘secret lobbying scheme’ in which (redacted) and (redacted) acted as lobbyists to senior White House officials, without complying with the registration requirement of the Lobbying Disclosure Act to secure a pardon or reprieve of sentence for (redacted),” it stated.

"And a related bribery conspiracy scheme, in which (redacted) would offer a substantial political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon or reprieve of sentence for (redacted), using (redacted) as the intermediaries to deliver the proposed bribe (Bribery-for-pardon scheme.)"

Chief Judge Beryl A Howell ruled that the communications could be reviewed by investigators because they included someone who was not a lawyer.

“This political strategy to obtain a presidential pardon was 'parallel' to and distinct from (redacted) role as an attorney advocate for (redacted),” the ruling stated, removing both names.

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