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Trump not planning to pardon himself or his family members — report

US president said to sit for hours with daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, going over list of over 100 names to be granted clemency in last days of his term

US President Donald Trump flanked by first lady Melania Trump is introduced by his daughter and White House senior adviser, Ivanka Trump, as he prepares to deliver his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination on the South Lawn of the White House August 27, 2020, in Washington, DC (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP)
US President Donald Trump flanked by first lady Melania Trump is introduced by his daughter and White House senior adviser, Ivanka Trump, as he prepares to deliver his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination on the South Lawn of the White House August 27, 2020, in Washington, DC (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP)

US President Donald Trump has made a nonfinal decision to not issue a preemptive pardon for himself or for his immediate family members in the final days of his term, a report said Monday, as the president was said to be poised to grant clemency to more than 100 people.

Reuters cited a source familiar with Trump’s deliberations as saying “so far” he doesn’t plan to pardon himself or his children, options that he has discussed with advisers.

While neither Trump nor his immediate family members currently face criminal charges, many believe the president could be charged with inciting the January 6 riots at the US Capitol.

A presidential self-pardon would be highly controversial and some say it would be unconstitutional. Some White House officials have warned Trump that such a move would make him look guilty, according to Reuters.

Trump is expected to announce the pardons on Tuesday, before departing the White House on Wednesday morning. His presidency ends at noon.

He spent many hours Sunday with his daughter Ivanka, her husband Jared Kushner and other advisers to review a list of more than 100 names, The Washington Post reported.

Many of the pardons will be uncontroversial, the report said, citing two people familiar with the discussions.

US President Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn arrives for his sentencing at the US District Court in Washington, Dec. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Trump is seen as having made decisions on pardons rather capriciously throughout his presidency, not basing his decisions on the recommendations of various committees and Justice Department reviews, as past presidents have.

In late December, the president pardoned a host of former aides and associates, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Kushner’s father.

Trump’s pardons of Flynn, Manafort, Roger Stone, George Papadopoulos, and Alex Van Der Zwaan — who all pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Moscow during the 2016 election — angered the Russia meddling investigators.

They were “what you would expect to get if you gave the pardon power to a mob boss,” said Andrew Weissman, one of the lead investigators on the Mueller team.

The New York Times reported Sunday that numerous allies of the American leader were raking in tens of thousands of dollars to lobby for pardons before he leaves office.

The newspaper named several associates of the president as having received enormous sums from those seeking reprieves for various offenses, among them his former personal lawyer John Dowd, and Brett Tolman, a former federal prosecutor who is advising Trump on pardons. Each had been given tens of thousands of dollars for lobbying services.

US President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, January 12, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

It also cited John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer convicted of illegally disclosing classified information, as alleging that associates of Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani had told him that he could secure a pardon for $2 million, an offer he refused. It said Giuliani challenged the claim.

The article named a number of others with access to the president as advertising their connections and ability to secure pardons, though it was not clear whether they were paid by anyone to do so.

Though the Times noted that Trump himself could be investigated for bribery if he received money for pardons, lobbying him on the matter is a fairly unregulated affair.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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