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Trump was expected to bend the power of amnesty on the way out

Washington – Proponents and attorneys anticipate a series of amnesty actions from President Donald Trump in the coming weeks that may test the limits of the president’s amnesty.

Trump is said to be considering a number of amnesty and commutation before he leaves the office, including potential members of his family, former aides, and even himself. It’s not uncommon for the president to sign a controversial amnesty on the way out, but Trump intervenes in the cases of friends and allies he believes have been mistreated, including his former national security adviser. He revealed that he had no concerns about what to do, Michael Flynn.

The list of candidates is long and colorful. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was imprisoned for a financial crime as part of a Russian investigation. George Papadopoulos, like Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as “Joe Exotic”, appeared in the Netflix series “Tiger King”. The former contractor was convicted in a shooting battle in Baghdad and killed more than 12 civilians, including women and children.

Mr. Trump has long been worried about potential legal exposure after his resignation, but in recent weeks he, his family, or his business could be targeted by President-elect Joe Biden’s Department of Justice. Concerned about the sex, Mr Biden has stated he will not. Be part of such a decision.

Nonetheless, Trump had an informal conversation with his allies about how he might be able to protect his family, even though he has not taken any steps to do so. .. His adult children are not demanding amnesty and do not feel they need forgiveness, according to people familiar with the discussions that discussed private matters on condition of anonymity.

Trump also discussed potentially protecting himself, the first reported. In a video posted on Facebook on Wednesday, he glanced at a potential vulnerability.

“Now I hear that the same people who didn’t take me to Washington sent all the information to New York so they could try to take me there,” he said. ..

Speculation prompted much of the preemptive backlash from critics.

“Usually if someone is amnesty, it suggests they may have committed a crime. That’s not what I want to connect with my family,” Trump’s frequent Critic Mitt Romney, a Republican senator in Utah, said.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer staffed whether the president could give himself, his family, and his attorney Rudy Giuliani, who Trump discussed about potential actions, a preemptive amnesty. Condemned the idea of ​​asking.

“I have a simple answer. No, President, that would be a terrible abuse of the presidential amnesty authorities,” Schumer said.

The president enjoys a wide range of amnesty when it comes to federal crime. This includes pardoning those who have not yet been prosecuted, as President Gerald Ford did when he pardoned his predecessor Richard Nixon in 1974.

However, according to legal experts, the president cannot pardon national crimes or circumvent the law by pardoning people for crimes that have not yet occurred. It is unclear whether the president has the power to forgive himself. No one has tried it.

Decades ago, the Justice Department’s Legal Advisory Department’s opinion suggests that the president cannot pardon himself because he must serve as a judge in his case. Receive an amnesty with the Vice President, who declares that he cannot serve and claims that he can transfer power to him.

Presidents often give controversial amnesty when friends and donors resign. Bill Clinton pardoned wealthy financier Marc Rich, and Ronald Reagan pardoned New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. However, Trump’s position is noteworthy given the sheer number of former aides and allies facing imprisonment, prosecution, and legal danger.

They include Manafort, Manafort’s Deputy Rick Gates, President’s longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone, his former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, and former Attorney Michael Cohen. Stone and Flynn are one of the things Trump has already granted amnesty.

According to Brian Cult, a professor at Michigan State University, 99% of people who receive amnesty are unheard of by the general public, and the remaining 1% get 99% attention. I will. But Trump’s interest in celebrities and celebrities has upset those percentages.

“You can see the charm of the power of amnesty for someone like him,” said the cult. “That’s the only thing the president says it and it can be achieved. He doesn’t have to deal with the” deep state. ” He does not need to undergo parliamentary oversight or judicial review. “

In previous administrations, amnesty went through a formal review process at the Justice Department, and attorneys carefully investigated the case before making recommendations to the White House. Trump has largely avoided that process. Instead, the case relies on a more unplanned approach in favor of candidates who have personally resonated with him or who have been endorsed by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West.

With the results of last month’s elections revealed, those seeking amnesty before Trump resigned doubled their efforts to get the White House’s attention, relying on prominent Washington attorneys and resuming public relations efforts. However, in the case of Papadopoulos, a book that appears on Fox News and speaks to the press.

“I just want to clarify exactly what happened in my situation and let the Americans decide on that logical conclusion. Please forgive me. I don’t expect it. But I’m honored to accept it, “he told The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, Giuliani spoke directly with the president about the amnesty. The two had a preliminary conversation on this topic, but it’s unclear how serious they were.

But beyond the bold names, there are ordinary people behind the bar who have tried to claim that they have been unfairly sentenced or deserve a second chance.

“A lot of people are screaming for help,” said Alice Marrison, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole until Trump was commuted in 2018 after Trump was defended by Kardashian West. I did. Since then, Trump has forgiven her at this year’s Republican National Convention in a Super Bowl ad featuring Johnson’s story.

Johnson, who has already lobbied the president to deal with several other cases, met Trump again at the White House a few weeks ago and said, “I have incredible rehab and prison records. “For those who are,” he said he presented an additional case. .. “

“Personally, I want to see people go home before Christmas,” she said. “Families all over the country are praying for Christmas miracles.”

The White House did not answer the question, and spokesman Kayleigh McEnany said that “I have never mentioned amnesty in a conversation at the White House” other than Flynn.

So far, Trump has used less of his amnesty than any president in modern history, according to Judiciary data compiled by the Pew Research Center.

It shows that he has given 44 amnesties, at least less than any other president since William McKinley.

“There are more than 13,000 petitions submitted by all these people in accordance with the rules,” he said, submitting applications, having people write letters on their behalf, and years of processing the case. Waiting, said Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor and professor. University of St. Thomas. He attended several meetings at the White House during Trump’s term, and authorities brainstormed potential changes to the formal amnesty process.

“For those who should be free, Trump’s friend and family approach to amnesty is a” deep and real tragedy, “he said.

Copyright 2020 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Trump was expected to bend the power of amnesty on the way out

Source link Trump was expected to bend the power of amnesty on the way out

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