Feds Investigating Possible Bribe-for-Pardon Scheme

It's not clear whether Trump knew about it
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2020 8:02 PM CST
Feds Investigating Possible Pardon Bribery Scheme
A ribbon hangs on the White House for World AIDS Day 2020, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

With President Trump 50 days from leaving office, the Department of Justice is investigating a possible bribery scheme involving presidential pardons, according to court records unsealed Tuesday. The heavily redacted federal court documents say two people are being investigated for improperly acting as lobbyists for somebody seeking a pardon from Trump, the Hill reports. The court documents state that a related scheme involved "a substantial political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon or reprieve of sentence." The documents do not indicate whether Trump or any other White House officials were aware of the scheme, reports NBC.

The 18-page court order, which prosecutors had sought to keep secret, was dated Aug. 28, the AP reports. US District Judge Beryl Howell, chief judge of Washington's federal court, allowed it to be unsealed Tuesday with information that could identify the suspects redacted. Court records state that more than 50 devices, including iPhones, iPads, laptops, and thumb drives, were seized when an office was raided in connection with the case, reports CNN. (Rudy Giuliani has denied reports he is seeking a pre-emptive pardon from the president.)

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