Who will get pardons from Trump?

January 18, 2021 • 6:14 pm

In only two days Trump will be gone, to a massive sigh of relief across America as well as to the groans of Deplorables.

There are reports that Trump may issue up to 100 pardons tomorrow, though the recipients are said not to include himself. But the list will surely include many who don’t deserve this leniency.

Whom do you think he’ll pardon?  Although this isn’t a contest, I’ll give a prize of my choosing to the first person all of whose guesses are all correct, so long as they are four or more. Any wrong guesses disqualify you, and if you guess fewer than four but they’re all correct, you also don’t get a prize. There’s only one way to win, and if nobody wins, no prize. But guess away if you don’t care about prizes, and of course you can give fewer or more than four names.

I’m not qualified to guess, but I know that many readers are. Who do you think will be the recipient of Trump’s largesse?

Remember, Trump can pardon people convicted of or who will be accused of federal crimes, not state ones.

98 thoughts on “Who will get pardons from Trump?

    1. Cruz and Hawley could never accept pardons; it would put a damper on their presidential aspirations.

      I doubt the Donald will be offering pardons to anyone he has reason to believe won’t accept with alacrity.

      1. I doubt the Donald will be offering pardons to anyone he has reason to believe won’t accept with alacrity.

        That would require forethought, the introspection to consider that one’s “offer” may be rejected, careful consideration before making the public gesture …
        Are we both thinking of the same Tangerine Shitgibbon? Or are you thinking of his employees and me thinking about the primate with the orange face itself?
        Also – will ha be able to issue secret pardons – ones whose recipient is not named publicly, and whose identity may not be known at the time of issue. In the first case, I’m thinking of the hominins you mention, and in the other case he might give Melania a (secret) pardon for Barron’s father.

    1. Bannon? Steve Radio Show? Isn’t he an unperson these days? So why would he (the Tangerine Shitgobbon) acknowledge the existence of an unperson?

    1. The front for the Russian dezinformatsiya campaign. Sure, why not? (Though a UK judge has already blocked US extradition.)

      Even if Assange gets a pardon, I’ll bet he still won’t chance a trip to the USA, for fear of facing some type of state charges.

        1. If it’s just purloined emails, it’s not dezinformatsiya, but some of those hacked emails were then larded with dezinformatsiya.

          And it was certainly dezinformatsiya tout court when Assange played coy that WikiLeaks had received the stolen emails not from the Russians, but from the completely innocent murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich. That was an unconscionable act against Seth Rich’s grieving family.

          Assange deserves to rot in some hell-hole for THAT alone, if you ask me.

          1. Well that’s not what he’s been charged with. But you might have a case if he had got the leaks from the Russians or if he had said that Seth Rich was the source but he did neither.

            1. Are you denying the conclusions of the US intelligence community, the special counsel’s investigation, and the Republican-led US senate intelligence committee that Russians hacked the emails from the DNC and John Podesta?

              If so, who are you claiming was the source of the hacked material and what is your proof?

            1. If you can’t tell the Ecuadorian embassy from a hell-hole, you plainly have no idea what an actual hell-hole is.

              1. “If you can’t tell the Ecuadorian embassy from a hell-hole, you plainly have no idea what an actual hell-hole is.”

                Try living in one room for years without going out. I will now terminate this discussion, at least on my side, in respect of da roolz.

                Btw, the wikipedia article on the case is quite good. It depends on a particularly swedish notion of what constitutes rape. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not trying to make JA sound innocent.

              2. I’m not saying being confined to the Ecuadorian embassy was a walk in the park. But Assange had access to the internet and outside world, could receive guests essentially of his choosing, and keep his pet cat (which he apparently didn’t take very good care of or clean up after).

                Ain’t exactly a CIA black site or doing a bid at Abu Ghraib.

                And Assange was free to walk outside the embassy doors at will, to face due process from the legal systems of the UK, US, and Sweden (as anyone of the rest of us would’ve been expected to do).

      1. I don’t think that a judge denying a US extradition request has any effect of preventing the US from making another extradition request. The grounds for the initial rejection may remain, or the US may do other things to alleviate those grounds. Trying the in a third country under non-American rules isn’t without precedent and could realistically get around (for example) the expressed desire of senior Americans to enact the death penalty, double-plus ungoodly, on Assange. The concerns about Assange’s mental health, but his continued detention in the British legal system could be squared by an agreement for Assange to serve his sentence in the British judicial system.
        Of course, there may be disquiet within the US prosecutors that other countries might not see the case America’s way. That’s a terrifying prospect to some.
        What reason would Assange have for actually wanting to visit America? I’m not aware of him having any family there who are physically immobile, so … ?

      1. Charges that the Swedish police asked the woman to make and have been dropped? Well he doesn’t need a pardon from those charges

        1. There were two sets of charges, one set was dropped when the stature of limitations expired and the other set was dropped when the Swedish authorities got bored of waiting.

          Back in 2012 when Assange had exhausted all legal avenues to avoid facing the rape charges, he bravely turned his tail and fled.

          He clearly thought he was guilty. Why should I disagree with him?

            1. At the time, he knew he was in no danger of being extradited. He had been in the UK for a year fighting the Swedish extradition and the Americans made no move to extradite hm in that period.

              Assange fled for one reason only: to escape conviction for rape.

              1. Well you may believe so but that’s not what the US is trying to extradite him for. He is being persecuted for revealing the crimes committed by the US in Iraq

              2. He is not being persecuted, he is going through a legitimate legal process. Tr**p could pardon him, after all, he is a scumbag and maybe a rapist. On the other hand, he’s got nothing to show his appreciation with and he might be innocent of the crimes of which he is currently accused.

              3. The details are far from clear, but no-one involved claims that it was rape as normally understood:


                Note that Sweden has become woke in the last 20 years or so. There are many instances of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. One of them is broadening the definition of rape.

                Of course, those who want Assange for other reasons are happy to let people believe that he is some sort of psychopathic rapist.

              4. The judge in the extradition case ruled that it would be rape under English law. English judges are not usually noted for being woke.

                I don’t think Assange is a psychopath but I do think he is a rapist. It’s the obvious explanation for why he ran away from being charged with rape (I’ve already dealt with the possibility of extradition to the USA, it wasn’t a factor at that time).

      2. That would be Roman Polanski? As for the other guy, the charges were dropped years ago. Only the perseverance of the swedish attorney general (about whom my swedish wife has no kind words) dragged that one out.

  1. I don’t think he can pardon people who haven’t been charged or convicted. Good reasons Dems left Ivanka, Don Jr., Jared alone during his term of office. Hoping for multiple fraud charges and more after he’s out.
    Pardoning his kids would also be confessing that they’ve been committing crimes all along.

    1. Word has it the pigs in Trump’s inner circle are bellying up to the trough to serve as middlemen (though I haven’t heard any reporting that Trump himself is getting a taste). Still, I expect such pardons will go to people Trump thinks can offer him future consideration in the business world.

      When it comes to Trump, there’s no need to ask cui bono? It’s always Trump bono.

    2. They actually feel a need to say that? I mean, that has been taken as read since … 2014, 2013? Earlier? (I never paid him appreciable attention before them – was he as obnoxious and pecuniary in previous incarnations?)

  2. Bannon, Assange, Dr. Melgen, Lil Wayne

    This is not one of my guesses, but would anyone be surprised if he pardoned some famous villain like Mark Chapman?

    1. Mark Chapman

      That’s why I’m not even considering placing a stone (or five) into this moyo. I could google to find out who this guy is, but not being tightly tuned to USian politics and corruption (is that “and” a tautology?) there are so many good candidates that I can’t realistically make a prognostic guess.
      [Wikis] Oh, him@ #6? I guess dropping that ball was pretty serious.
      Wasn’t #4 diagnosed as mad, and that wouldn’t be affected by a Presidential pardon, even if affirmed by Napoleon from the neighbouring cell and the ward’s trinity of Jeebus H. Christ.

  3. All of the seditionists who have been arrested on federal charges for participating in the assault on Congress. Unlikely but I wouldn’t put it past him.

    1. Has a presidential pardon ever been attested to a group of people without having to enumerate them all?
      Sorry, Ken did that up-thread with Carter and the draft-dodgers. but that was in the context of a country trying to forget that it had lost a war to a smaller, weaker country, so the majority were probably wanting to forget the whole sordid affair. That’s .. not the “vibe” that America is transmitting to the rest of the world as it continues to teeter on the brink of civil war. What is the current polling on people who think the election itself was invalid (contra the election result)? And how many have weapons?

      1. I think that if Trump actually tried to pull this off, it could push enough Republican Senators to vote for conviction. Trump’s advisors have likely pointed that out, but Trump’s ‘gut’ may once again rule.

        It looks like we indeed have a well-armed militia, but as I tell my right-wing-nut relatives, they are not the only ones with weapons 🙂

  4. Roger Stone (who got a commutation of sentence, but still has another bite from the clemency apple coming), Paul Manafort, Jared, and Igor Fruman.

  5. Keep in mind that anyone given a full pardon by Trump can be subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury and compelled to testify, since they will no longer have a valid Fifth Amendment self-incrimination privilege to assert (though the rules of federal grand jury secrecy as to such testimony will have to be scrupulously followed regarding anyone who might still face state charges so as not to taint any such prosecution).

    If they lie to the grand jury about a material matter, they can be prosecuted for perjury, since a pardon does not apply prospectively to future crimes. If they refuse to testify despite not having a valid testimonial privilege, they can be prosecuted for contempt.

      1. It would also provide a selfish reason for Trump not to pardon Jared or DJT, Jr.

        Subpoenaing Trump’s family members and cronies before a federal grand jury would also be a way for prosecutors to determine whether Trump has given them a secret pardon not announced before he leaves the presidency.

        1. As for Stone and Manafort, they wouldn’t have a valid Fifth Amendment self-incrimination privilege against testifying about the crimes for which they were convicted as it stands now, since they’ve already once been put in jeopardy for those crimes, so could not be prosecuted again (although they could “take five” regarding questions beyond the scope of those offenses).

          So pardons limited to the crimes for which they stand convicted wouldn’t change their status vis-à-vis testifying before a federal grand jury.

        2. Ah, so secret pardons are a thing. Outside Hollywood and … I can’t put a name an American equivalent of John Le Carré, due to having listened to some JLC on the radio this morning.
          If they have a secret pardon, and keep it secret, then they can assert a (false) claim to the “Fifth” without fear of perjury prosecution unless the pardon is revealed? Is there room for that waltz to take place with the other legal angels on the pinhead?

            1. No, here be dragons!
              Which resurrects, again, the debate about how much fossils influenced pre-literate people’s stories of mythical beasts.

  6. Robert E. Lee. T.J. “Stonewall” Jackson. Jefferson Davis. And his favourite confederate General, Ulysses S. Grant.

  7. I feel that Trump will pardon the rap artist Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr, the ophthalmologist Dr. Salomon Melgen, Sheldon Silver, the New York Assembly speaker, and Elliot Broidy, a former campaign fundraiser.

  8. Tomorrow is going to be so goddamn depressing. Any hopes of any Schadenfreude from the judicial system prosecuting these goons, who helped perpetuate the last four years of this country’s downward spiral will go down the executive drain.

  9. Rudi, Paul “I heart dictators” Manafort, pre-emptively his idiot sons and both parts of Javanka. (As aside – as a 25+ year Manhattanite I couldn’t stand Rudi back in the 90s – he was a scumbag then also, just more artful about it and all that “America’s mayor” shit irritated me nearly more than 9/11 itself. Which was in itself irritating. I get annoyed a lot.)

    Though – I’ll say the pardoning of nobody would surprise me though I know T*ump will surprise me. Because he always does and never fails to disappoint and embarrass us more. With him it is always the sleaziest, dirtiest people surrounding him like flies around a horse’s ass.


      1. In public knowledge – I’ve heard nothing on this side of the Pond. But given the UK’s libel laws, that’s not terribly informative.
        For once, we can’t rely on the muck-raking depths of the Brazilian press, so … Le Canard Enchainé?
        If the news came out tomorrow … I for one would not put a thick rug alongside the sofa, to cushion my knees from falling over in astonishment.

    1. Pence is an unperson to the Tangerine one.

      Unless Pence knows where one of the so-far secret bodies is buried. And the Shitgibbon-in-Chief knows that he can prove it.

    1. Sheldon Silver
      Dr Salomon Melgen
      Wiki-linked, for they are new names to me. SS is a convicted lawyer/ politician, so that’s no surprise.
      SM is confusing. What is an opthalmologist doing running a port security company? Very convoluted. But Florida and New York, so infection-transferring contact with the Orange one is entirely plausible. Another “knowing where the bodies are buried” association.

      Serious question – did “the Mob” never use the Donald’s construction associations to dispose of problems in a very “foundational” manner? Who is in the sub-basements of each “Trump Tower”, and shouldn’t they be exhumed?

  10. Something I’ve never understood about this process is how a pardon can be applied to a person who hasn’t been tried and convicted of a crime in court. Without a conviction, what is being pardoned? This logic alone should be enough to prevent any president pardoning himself when any trial/conviction would only take place after their term ends. Speculative pardons for anything someone *might* at some future point be charged with seems to be an impossible concept to defend on any legal or moral grounds.

    1. There is plenty of president for pardons without charges or convictions. Nixon was pardoned by Ford. Carter pardoned Vietnam draft resistors, most of whom had not been charged. There’s never been a case of “speculative pardon” for future offenses.

      1. Interesting, thanks GBJames. Draft resistors would have been automatically guilty of a statutory offence simply by fleeing/not turning up, without the need for them to individually come to court, so I can understand that. But what were the terms of Nixon’s pardon? Are indictable offences that he would otherwise have been charged with specifically listed in it?

          1. Ha! Well Trump was a fool not to have resigned a week ago to give Pence time to pardon him (as he surely would have done).

            1. I don’t think he could count on a pardon from Pence after the VP and his family were targeted by the MAGA insurrectionists.

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