With just a matter of days before he leaves the White House, Donald Trump is expected to make some big calls in his pardons.
With just a matter of days before he leaves the White House, Donald Trump is expected to make some big calls in his pardons.

Trump considering pardons for his kids

US President Donald Trump is reportedly in discussions with his advisers whether to grant pre-emptive pardons to his children and his son-in-law.

According to The New York Times, sources close to the president said he is concerned that a Biden Justice Department might seek retribution by targeting the oldest three of his five children - Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump - and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, a White House senior Adviser.

Mr Trump Jr had been under investigation over contact he had with Russians offering damaging information on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign, but he was never charged.

 

Meanwhile, Mr Kushner provided false information to federal authorities about his contacts with foreigners for his security.

It is unclear what the pardons for Ivanka or Eric would be for.

The Times also reported Mr Trump has discussed a pre-emptive pardon with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Again it is unclear what the pardon would be for.

Mr Giuliani, a former New York City mayor credited with bringing the city through the 9/11 terror attack in 2001, has not been charged with any federal crime.

The lawyer was, however, under investigation recently from federal prosecutors over his business dealings in Ukraine.

He also allegedly played a part in outsing the American ambassador in Ukraine, which formed part of the impeachment of Mr Trump.

Mr Giuliani did not respond to a message seeking comment but did issue a swift denial on Twitter.

Mr Giuliani's lawyer, Robert Costello, told The New York Times, "He's not concerned about this investigation, because he didn't do anything wrong and that's been our position from day one."

Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who wrote the original story, replied to Mr Giuliani's denial on Twitter.

She also disputed his denial that he hadn't requested $20,000 a day from the Trump campaign.

"It was in writing," she said.

There is also public discussion of Mr Trump issuing a pardon for himself, for any crimes he might be charged with related to his time in office - though the legality of that has never been tested.

Presidential pardons are a common feature of the final days of a US leader's office.

Mr Trump has agreed to leave the White House on January 20, paving the way for president-elect Joe Biden.

 

A pre-emptive pardon is rare but has happened before.

Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for all his actions as president and Jimmy Carter pardoned the thousands of Americans who illegally avoided the draft for the Vietnam War.

The reports come a week after Mr Trump pardoned Michael Flynn, the former security Adviser whose lies about his Russian contacts spurred the troubling investigation into Trump campaign collusion with Moscow.

The pardon, which was expected, was the first of several possible pardons that analysts think the President could extend to political aides and allies before he steps down on January 20.

Those could include former 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort, also convicted in the Russia collusion investigation, Mr Giuliani, former Adviser Steve Bannon and Roger Stone, whose prison sentence for lying and witness tampering the President already commuted.

 

Originally published as Trump considering pardons for his kids