Pardon season

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President Donald J. Trump, joined by First Lady Melania Trump, pardons “Corn” as the 2020 National Thanksgiving Turkey Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. President Trump has discussed possibly pardoning his three eldest children and adviser Jared Kushner before he leaves the presidency, The New York Times reported Tuesday. Two people briefed on the matter told the Times that the president has talked to his advisers about potentially giving his children, his son-in-law and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani preemptive pardons. Photo by Shealah Craighead/Official White House.

It’s pardon season. Last week, President Trump pardoned Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser, for the false statements charge to which he pleaded guilty, and he’s been pardoned for certain activity he was never charged with. If this pardon was corruptly issued, is it valid? Yes. Even if the president gets in political or legal trouble for it, is it still valid? Still yes. The power to pardon is pretty close to a power a king would have, and there is no precedent for curbing the president’s power to pardon. There may be more pardons ahead: ABC News and the New York Times report the president is considering pre-emptive pardons for some of his family members: his three oldest children (Ivanka, Eric and Don Jr.), his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his demented uncle Rudy Giuliani. There’s also news that prosecutors are looking into whether there was a corrupt scheme to offer political donations in exchange for a pardon. Ken and Josh talk about what is known based on an unsealed but heavily redacted order from a federal judge. 

Plus: Bill Barr makes John Durham a special prosecutor. How does that change John Durham’s work with the investigation into the other special counsel investigation? And what if the Biden administration were to expand the Durham investigation into other areas of the Trump administration Department of Justice? And about that full page ad Lin Wood took out that calls for President Trump to impose “limited martial law” so he could throw out the results of the election: is that sedition? And why couldn’t President Trump file just “one, big, beautiful lawsuit” alleging voter fraud?

Credits

Hosts:
Josh Barro, Ken White

Producer:
Sara Fay