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The lobbying for pardons got hotter once Trump allies realized he wouldn’t be returning to the White House.
Outgoing President Donald Trump is reportedly poised to issue around 100 pardons and sentence commutations on Tuesday, the last official day of his presidency.
Trump allies have reportedly been actively attempting to cash in on the final hours of his failed four years in office. According to the The New York Times, several Trump associates have been charging people tens of thousands of dollars for their “access” to the president and a potential pardon.
The lobbying for pardons “heated up” once Trump and his allies realized he would not be spending a second term in the White House, says the Times report.
One ally cashing in is John M. Dowd, Trump’s former lawyer. Another is an unnamed top adviser and — of course — personal Trump attorney and former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani.
“This kind of off-books influence peddling, the special-privilege system denies consideration to the hundreds of ordinary people who have obediently lined up as required by Justice Department rules, and is a basic violation of the longstanding effort to make this process at least look fair,” said Margaret Love, former U.S. pardon attorney.
It is noted that this is not the first time presidential pardons have been made by lobbying nor the first time the number of pardons appears large. The Bill Clinton administration issued 170 pardons and commutations in its waning days. Some of those went to people who had paid up to six figures to President Clinton’s family and associates, but each had undergone a Justice Department process that thoroughly vetted clemency applications.
Trump’s list of pardons, CNN reports, is said to include “white-collar criminals, high-profile rappers and others.”
Lil Wayne and Kodak Black are reportedly the famous folk under consideration.
Lil Wayne is facing up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to illegal gun possession in December. He gets sentenced on Jan. 28.
In October, the Young Money rapper met with Trump and shared a tweet that read, “Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump @potus besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership. He listened to what we had to say today and assured me he will and can get it done.”
Kodak Black was arrested for weapons possession in 2019 and sentenced to almost four years in federal prison; he is currently incarcerated.
Trump is still also reportedly considering preemptive pardons for his children, Jared Kushner, Giuliani and himself.
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