President Donald Trump’s 4-year term will come to an end this Wednesday at noon, but before he leaves he’s planning on issuing over 100 pardons. Assuaging some people’s fears so far, none of these is for himself.
The Congressional vote to impeach Trump already had people asking whether the President was considering issuing a self-pardon, but his advisers have told him that it would only make him appear guilty. Many experts on the subject have said that a self-pardon would be unconstitutional because it violates the basic principle that nobody should be the judge in his own case.
As of Monday, Trump had already issued 70 pardons and 24 commutations, and while presidential pardons are not necessarily uncommon, Trump’s are a little more particular. They have been granted to
people who are politically connected or close to him, like Michael Flynn, his first national security adviser, or Paul Manafort, his 2016 campaign chairman. Others were given to people who hadn’t even requested them, such as Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Maricopa County, Arizona.
There have been some obscure rumors regarding the president’s pardons, the New York Times recently reported that a Giuliani associate told an ex-CIA officer that a Trump pardon would “cost $2M.”
Furthermore, there has been some speculation that Texas’ Attorney General, Ken Paxton, has been throwing lawsuits in favor of Mr. Trump in order to obtain the coveted presidential pardon. Paxton is currently under investigation by the FBI for alleged bribery and abuse of office.
It’s worth noting that the usual procedure is to have the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney vet requests, but in Trump’s case, the pardons have gone to people who didn’t even meet the office’s requirements.