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Report: Trump to issue 100+ pardons, commutations during final days in office

Then-President Donald J. Trump waves Sept. 8, 2020, at Joint Base Andrews, Md., as he boards Air Force One. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)
January 18, 2021

President Donald Trump plans to pardon or commute the sentences of more than 100 people during his final days in office, with announcements likely made by Tuesday, two anonymous sources told the Washington Post on Monday.

On Sunday, Trump met with his daughter Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, along with other aides, to discuss an extensive list of pardon requests, multiple people familiar with the meeting said, with one person adding that Trump was personally engaged with individual cases.  

Among those being considered are his adult children, multiple top aides and himself, people briefed on the discussions said. Neither his children nor President Trump are known to be under investigation or charged with any crimes.

The option of a self-pardon raised questions following the January 6 protest on Capitol Hill that turned violent after protesters forced their way past security, through several physical barriers, and stormed the Capitol building. Some aides are concerned that President Trump could face criminal charges related to incitement, while others believe a self-pardon would signal an admission of guilt, officials said.

Among speculated recipients of the pardons are former Trump campaign adviser Stephen Bannon and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

President Trump has particularly enjoyed the ability to grant clemency, aides have said, because the Constitution gives the power to the president alone. He has reportedly told advisors that he plans to be liberal with pardons in his final days.

Ninety-four people have been granted clemency by Trump so far, with 49 issued during the week before Christmas.

Those who have received pardons include Paul Manafort, who asked as the presidents former campaign chairman, and Roger Stone, a longtime friend of Trump. He also pardoned General Michael T. Flynn, who served as national security adviser early on in Trump’s term.

The father of his son-in-law Charles Kushner was also among those to receive a pardon in recent weeks, in addition to four military contractors and three Republican former members of Congress.

Nearly 14,000 individuals have active petitions for pardons and commutations, leading to both Republicans and Democrats being criticized for allowing a significant backlog of rehabilitated people to build up while those seeking mercy suffer in prison.