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Trump Has Busy Last Full Day in Office Planned

Sources say president will issue around 100 pardons and commutations
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2021 3:19 AM CST
Updated Jan 18, 2021 5:01 AM CST

(Newser) – President Trump's pardoning spree will continue until pretty near the bitter end, sources say. Three people familiar with the matter tell CNN that the POTUS will issue somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 pardons and commutations on Tuesday, his last full day in office. He has until noon on Wednesday, Inauguration Day, to grant clemency. Aides don't currently expect that list to include himself, members of his family, or his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, though they warn that could change; all of the above had been speculated as possibilities. Rather, CNN says the list will include "white collar criminals, high-profile rappers and others." Sources tell the Washington Post the names are largely expected to be "uncontroversial." Trump granted clemency to 49 people in the week before Christmas; the total number of his presidency so far is 94, mostly friends and allies.

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Not many specific names are being reported, other than Dr. Salomon Melgen, a prominent eye doctor from Palm Beach, Fla., who is jailed on health care fraud convictions. He is seen as "wealthy and influential" in South Florida, CNN says, and sources say that's a common theme in the list: "Everything is a transaction. He likes pardons because it is unilateral. And he likes doing favors for people he thinks will owe him," one says. Julian Assange is not expected to be on the list, and it's not clear whether Steve Bannon will be. Trump met with daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and other aides at the White House on Sunday to discuss the list, which is seen as fluid and could change before it's finalized. As for why he isn't likely to pardon himself, a source tells Reuters there's a concern that could make him look guilty regarding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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