President Donald Trump is reportedly set to issue more 100 pardons and commutations of sentence on his final day in the office but is warned against self-pardon.
A list of names was drawn up by Trump on Sunday during a meeting in the White House with Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and numerous other aides ahead of the swearing in of President-elect Joe Biden, The Washington Post reported.
Since losing the 3 November elections, Mr. Trump has already issued pardons to at least 45 people but had to pause while preparing up for the 6 January session of the US Congress, which certified Mr. Biden’s victory.
But Trump is not expected to pardon himself or issue preemptive pardons for members of his family, said advisers who were not authorized to comment publicly on the issue.
While the identities of the 100 are not known, some of the president’s allies are said to believe that many of the pardons or commutations will go to people Trump expects to benefit from in the future.
“Everything is a transaction,” a source told CNN. “He likes pardons because it is unilateral. And he likes doing favors for people he thinks will owe him.”
Dr. Salomon Melgen, an eye doctor from Florida who is in prison after being found guilty of healthcare fraud, is expected to be one of those granted clemency.
Bloomberg reported last week that the rappers Lil Wayne, who faces prison time, and Kodak Black, who is in prison were also being considered for pardons.
Allies have also warned Trump not to pardon supporters who have been charged with breaking into the U.S. Capitol during the attempted insurrection on Jan. 6.
“To seek a pardon of these people would be wrong,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said this past weekend on Fox News. “I think it would destroy President Trump. And I hope we don’t go down that road.”
The decisions are expected to be announced Monday or Tuesday, The Post reported.
Trump has granted clemency to more than 90 people during his term in office, including allies and former aides involved in the investigation of Russian election interference during the 2016 election.
That group includes Paul Manafort, a Trump campaign manager in 2016 who was convicted of defrauding banks; George Papadopoulos, a former campaign aide who admitted lying to the FBI; and Michael Flynn, a retired Army general who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials.
Trump also commuted the sentence of long-time political adviser Roger Stone just days before he was set to report to prison after he was convicted of lying to Congress and obstructing the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Among other pardons: Charles Kushner, the father of presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. The elder Kushner has been convicted of preparing false tax returns and witness retaliation.
Pardons have also been granted to two former Republican members of Congress, Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who had pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, and Chris Collins, R-N.Y., who had pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to commit securities fraud.