The President and Pre-Emptive Pardons

The Daily

By The New York Times

The President and Pre-Emptive Pardons

Friday, 4 December

The power to pardon criminals or commute their sentences is one of the most sacred and absolute a president has, and President Trump has already used it to rescue political allies and answer the pleas of celebrities.

With his term coming to an end, the president has discussed granting three of his children, his son-in-law and personal lawyer pre-emptive pardons — a rarity in American history.

We look ahead to a potential wave of pardons and commutations — and explore who could benefit.


Guest: Michael S. Schmidt, a Washington correspondent for The New York Times.


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Background reading:

Speculation about pardon activity at the White House is churning furiously, underscoring how much the Trump administration has been dominated by investigations and criminal prosecutions of people in the president’s orbit.The president’s pardoning of Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser, signals the prospect of a wave of pardons and commutations in his final weeks in office.


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