According to reporting by CNN, President Donald Trump is preparing to issue upwards of 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office.
Trump met with aides, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, to review the long list of pardon requests over the weekend. Since the November election, Trump had been issuing pardons on a frequent basis but paused to focus on trying to overturn the result.
As has been the case throughout his presidency, Trump hasn’t gone through the normal system for accessing requests for clemency, using the Justice Department’s Pardon Attorney system. Instead, petitioners or people representing them are making contact with Trump directly or with his close aides.
The New York Times reported that there had been an onslaught of pardon requests in Trump’s final days from allies, lobbyists, and others hoping to cash in on their access to the President.
“Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer John M. Dowd has marketed himself to convicted felons as someone who could secure pardons because of his close relationship with the president, accepting tens of thousands of dollars from a wealthy felon and advising him and other potential clients to leverage Mr. Trump’s grievances about the justice system.”
Trump has been consumed with the question of whether to issue preemptive pardons to his adult children, top aides, and himself, but it remains unclear whether he will go through with that.
While Trump has been norm-breaking during his one term in office, the 11th-hour presidential pardons are a bit of a tradition. President Bill Clinton granted clemency to more than 100 people on his final full day in office. President Barack Obama commuted nearly 2,000 sentences during his final week, 330 of them on his final full day.