Presidential Pardons

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President Trump is being urged to use his remaining time in office to grant preemptive pardons to people close to him, including family members and maybe even himself.

Sean Hannity, whose Fox News program is closely followed by Trump, said on his radio show this week that the president, "out the door, needs to pardon his whole family and himself because they want this witch hunt to go on in perpetuity, they're so full of rage and insanity against the president."

Hannity likely was referring to the prospect for a post-presidential prosecution of Trump, who faces serious potential legal issues once he is out of office and no longer enjoys the privilege of not being indicted by federal prosecutors.

Sean Hannity said Monday that President Trump should pardon himself and the rest of his relatives before a Democratic administration can pursue criminal charges against members of the first family.

Mr. Hannity made the suggestion during the conservative commentator’s radio show while speaking with Sidney Powell, a lawyer for retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser and now the recent recipient of a presidential pardon.

“I’m like, the president out the door needs to pardon his whole family and himself, because they want this witch hunt to go on in perpetuity,” Mr. Hannity said on his show.

President Trump’s pardon of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn became public Monday, and it’s a doozy. Not only did Trump pardon Flynn for lying to the FBI, to which Flynn pleaded guilty twice, but he sought to spare Flynn from prosecution on basically anything even tangentially related to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation.

It’s only the latest example of Trump using his sweeping pardon power to benefit a top ally. While other presidents have pardoned or commuted the sentences of allies, Trump has taken it to another level. He’s used the power to help numerous close allies, financial donors and extreme figures in the conservative movement. Chief among them have been Flynn and Roger Stone, whose sentence Trump commuted (that’s not a full pardon) earlier this year.

Federal investigators are probing whether someone attempted to bribe White House officials to obtain a presidential pardon, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday.

The heavily redacted documents say that prosecutors are investigating a “secret lobbying scheme” in which two individuals “acted as lobbyists to senior White House officials” to secure a pardon for an unidentified person.

The documents, first reported by CNN, do not identify the person seeking the pardon, or the person’s intermediaries.

Judge Beryl Howell, the chief justice of the Washington, D.C. district court, unsealed the documents along with a decision she issued on whether emails obtained by investigators are protected by attorney-client privilege.

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