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Trump has discussed possible pardons for three eldest children, Kushner: report

The Hill logo The Hill 12/2/2020 Justine Coleman
a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Trump has discussed possible pardons for three eldest children, Kushner: report © Getty Images Trump has discussed possible pardons for three eldest children, Kushner: report

President Trump has discussed possibly pardoning his three eldest children and adviser Jared Kushner before he leaves the presidency, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Two people briefed on the matter told the Times that the president has talked to his advisers about potentially giving his children, his son-in-law and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani preemptive pardons.

The Times had reported earlier Tuesday that Giuliani had discussed a possible pardon with the president as recently as last week.

But the newspaper said President Trump had also looked into pardoning Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and her husband, Kushner, out of concern that President-elect Joe Biden's Justice Department would retaliate against his family.

The White House did not immediately provide a comment.

The president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was investigated during former special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into the campaign's contacts with Russia to get information on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton ahead of the 2016 election. But Donald Trump Jr. was not interviewed by Mueller's office or charged.

President Trump's son-in-law gave false information to federal authorities about his foreign contacts when they investigated him for his security clearance, which the president authorized anyway. Giving inaccurate or incomplete information during background checks for security clearances is a federal crime.

The Times notes that "the nature of Mr. Trump's concern about any potential criminal exposure of Eric Trump or Ivanka Trump is unclear," adding that the Manhattan district attorney is looking into the Trump Organization's alleged tax violations.

The reasoning for a pardon for Giuliani was also described as "unclear," although federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating his business dealings with Ukraine and whether he was connected to the removal of former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

ABC News reported earlier Tuesday that the president was looking into pardoning family members.

Fox News host Sean Hannity said on Monday that he thinks President Trump should pardon himself and his family members to avoid prosecution from a Biden Justice Department.

Hannity's suggestion came after Andrew Weissmann, a deputy to Mueller, wrote an op-ed encouraging Biden's attorney general to investigate and prosecute Trump.

The president also pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn last week after he pleaded guilty to lying to federal authorities during Mueller's investigation.

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