R to L: Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump (File)
Donald Trump is discussing the grant of pre-emptive pardons to his children — Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric — son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, according to multiple sources.
#FakeNews NYT lies again. Never had the discussion they falsely attribute to an anonymous source. Hard to keep up with all their lies.
— Rudy W. Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) December 1, 2020
Trump has told confidantes that he is concerned the Justice Department, in a Biden Administration, will seek retribution against him by targeting his children and Kushner.
Donald Trump Jr. was under investigation, during the Trump-Russia inquiry of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, for his welcome of contacts with Russians offering damaging information on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign. He was not charged.
Kushner provided false information to federal officials about his contacts with foreign entitutes. He was denied a security clearance, but was then given one by his father-in-law.
Ivanka Trump has received consulting fees from the Trump Organization, which is being investigated by the Manhattan District Attorney for tax write-offs on millions of dollars for consultancy.
Giuliani was under investigation this summer by Federal prosecutors over his business dealings in Ukraine. His 11-month effort in Ukraine, seeking disinformation to damage Democratic nominee Joe Biden — an initiative that would lead to the impeachment of Trump — is also being examined, including his role in pushing out US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
Donald Trump has been cited as “Individual 1” in a court filing in the case which led to the imprisonment of Michael Cohen, his former lawyer and fixer.
“The Kids Have Been Through Enough”
“White House sources” said discussions of pre-emptive pardons began early this year, amid Trump’s impeachment trial. Initially, informal consideration of a “series of hypotheticals” focused on whether Trump can pardon himself. However, the talks has moved to family members and Trump allies.
“The kids have been through enough,” said one “top advisor” who is pushing for pardons.
While no member of the Trump family has yet been charged with a Federal crime, the sources say the pardons are an “insurance policy”.
However, any pardons will not cover crimes at State level, where there are multiple investigations over Trump’s business and political activities by New York State Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance.
Sources say Trump has not yet embraced the idea of the pardons, as some aides advise that they could be seen as admitting guilt.
However, Trump’s friend and Fox TV polemicist Sean Hannity said on air on Monday, “If Biden ever became President, I’d tell Trump pardon yourself and pardon your family.”
Last week, Trump pardoned his former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his role in the Trump-Russia affair in 2016.