President Donald Trump is reportedly prepared to issue more than 100 pardons and commutations on Tuesday – his final day in office. According to three people familiar with the matter, those clemency actions may include white-collar criminals, high-profile rappers, and others.
However, Mr. Trump’s name is not expected to be on the list.
Two sources said the White House met on Sunday to determine who would join the group that will receive the pardons. According to officials, after consistently rolling out pardons and commutations during the final months of the year, Trump had to put a pause before and after the Capitol riots.
Trump focused on the Electoral College count in the previous days, so he could not make final decisions on pardons, the sources said.
White House officials expected Mr. Trump to resume the pardons after January 6, but he retreated after being accused of inciting the violence and leading attacks to the Capitol. They said that there were two batches ready to roll out last week and Tuesday, respectively.
Tuesday’s batch is expected to be the only one, although President Trump could decide to grant other last-minute pardons to some allies, members of his family, or himself.
The latest batch of pardons should be geared towards criminal justice reform. Others could be more controversial, being secured, or doled out to political allies. The outgoing president must complete pardons before he ends his presidency by January 20.
Could Trump pardon himself?
After the January 6 riots, which led to Mr. Trump’s second impeachment, a self-pardon does not appear to be a viable scenario.
Aides don’t expect Mr. Trump to pardon himself, his children, and his attorney Rudy Giuliani, as he may have thought. However, he has the final say as president before he officially leaves at noon Wednesday.
According to a person familiar with the matter, some advisers encouraged Mr. Trump to give up self-pardon after the riots because it would appear like he was guilty of something.
The advisers also recommended that Mr. Trump not grant pardons to those involved in the assault on the Capitol, even though the president claimed that those people had done nothing wrong.
Referring to those involved in the insurrection, Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham said: “There are a lot of people urging the President to pardon the folks.”
“To seek a pardon of these people would be wrong,” she added.
According to a White House official, the paperwork for the self-pardon has not yet been drawn up. Nonetheless, Mr. Trump could grant more pardons until he is officially out of office at noon on January 20.