By Victor Reklaitis
With President Donald Trump set to leave office on Jan. 20, his possible plans for issuing pardons keep drawing considerable attention.
Trump in November pardoned his former national-security adviser Michael Flynn , a key figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in 2017 but later worked to withdraw his plea. In late December, recipients of additional Trump pardons included longtime ally Roger Stone, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law.
Below is a table comprising the names of people Trump could pardon or recently has pardoned. The table reflects many of the frequently discussed individuals but is not intended to be comprehensive. It includes Trump himself, members of his family and Rudy Giuliani, none of whom has been charged with a crime.
People receiving Trump pardons or viewed as possible recipients
Trump has talked with advisers about granting pre-emptive pardons to some of his children, as well as to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Giuliani, his personal lawyer, according to a recent New York Times report that cited people described as having been briefed on the matter. The nature of Trump’s reported concerns about criminal exposure is unclear for some of these individuals, even amid a Manhattan prosecutor’s ongoing probe into the Trump Organization.
One Trump ally serving in Congress, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, has tweeted that the president “should pardon Flynn, the Thanksgiving turkey, and everyone from himself, to his admin, to Joe Exotic” because the “Left has a bloodlust.”
But the recent pardons also have drawn a lot of criticism, with another Republican lawmaker, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, describing some of them as “ rotten to the core .”
It’s not unusual for departing presidents to issue pardons, some of them controversial, or otherwise grant clemency. Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning , the former Army intelligence analyst who was in prison for leaking secret government information, while Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton pardoned fugitive financier Marc Rich .
Opinion: End presidential pardons
Ahead of his loss to President-elect Joe Biden in November’s election, Trump’s pardons have included one in late August for Alice Marie Johnson , who had been convicted on a nonviolent drug offense and whose cause was championed by celebrity Kim Kardashian West . The 45th president in February commuted the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich , who had been serving time on corruption convictions and had appeared in 2010 on the Trump reality show “Celebrity Apprentice,” and in July he commuted the sentence of longtime ally Roger Stone , who had been convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction.
This is an updated version of an article first published on Dec. 3, 2020.