Trump is forgoing legal advice and instead listening to friends, TV hosts, and relatives on who to pardon, report says

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Trump is forgoing legal advice and instead listening to friends, TV hosts, and relatives on who to pardon, report says

  • President Donald Trump is leaning on the advice of aides, family members and TV hosts in considering which criminals to pardon before leaving office, reported The Washington Post. 
  • Presidents usually consider cases vetted by Department of Justice lawyers as part of a formal application process. 
  • Trump on Wednesday pardoned Michael Flynn, his former national security advisor, who lied to FBI agents about his contact with Russian officials in 2016. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump is leaning on the counsel of friends, TV hosts, and family members in deciding which criminals to pardon before leaving office in January, reported The Washington Post.

Under the usual presidential pardon process criminals apply to the White House to be considered, and their cases are then reviewed by Department of Justice attorneys. 

But Trump is instead relying on the advice of people close to him for recommendations on who to pardon, sources told the Post, particularly his son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner. 

According to the Post, Kushner has played an important role in Trump’s previous pardons. 

Speculation is growing on whom the president will pardon to in his last weeks before leaving office on January 20. 

The Post did not not specify which people are being suggested by Trump’s circle.

But on Wednesday The New York Times reported on speculation that a forthcoming pardoning “blitz” could include former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators as part of Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

Traditionally, presidents reserve their pardons for people who’ve been victims of a miscarriage of justice. But Trump has been accused of using the power to shield former associates from punishment for crimes.

There has even been speculation that Trump could issue himself a pardon, an unprecedented move that some legal experts believe would be struck down by the Supreme Court. 

The president on Wednesday declared that he had pardoned former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who admitted lying to FBI agents about his contact with Russian officials before Trump took office. Trump claimed that Flynn did not receive a fair hearing as part of the investigation into his crimes. 

However Trump is not the first president to be accused of misusing pardons, with George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton also accused of abusing the power. 

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