March 8, 2021

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Trump Prepares Pardon Wave for Final Hours – The New York Times

2 min read

But after charging Mr. Cohen, the prosecutors came to question whether Mr. Weisselberg was entirely truthful about the Trump Organization’s role in the hush money payments, and they began scrutinizing whether he committed either perjury or obstruction of justice, according to people briefed on the matter. Nonetheless, prosecutors have never accused Mr. Weisselberg of wrongdoing.

However, Mr. Weisselberg, like Mr. Trump, is unlikely to receive a pre-emptive pardon, officials briefed on the discussions said, in part out of fear that Mr. Weisselberg may forfeit his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

A lawyer for Mr. Weisselberg declined to comment.

Then there are allies like Mr. Bannon, the president’s former chief strategist, who departed in a fiery burst of criticism about Mr. Trump and his family in 2017 but later came to defend the president again during his first impeachment trial. Mr. Bannon was indicted on fraud charges last year related to construction of a wall along the southern border in support of Mr. Trump’s immigration policies. He has pleaded not guilty.

A person close to Mr. Trump described a pardon for Mr. Bannon as a “coin toss,” but a White House official said it was unlikely to happen.

Mr. Giuliani, on his radio show on Monday afternoon, said: “I do not need a pardon. I don’t commit crimes,” though he asserted there was a risk that prosecutors “will try to frame me, like they tried to frame Donald Trump.” He added, “I’m willing to run that risk, and I’m willing to fight ’em by the law.”

Last month, Mr. Trump issued grants of clemency to more than four dozen people, among them Roger J. Stone Jr., his adviser and longtime friend; his former campaign chairman, Paul J. Manafort; and his son-in-law’s father, Charles Kushner.

He also pardoned four former contractors for Blackwater who were convicted in connection with a massacre of Iraqi civilians in 2007.

Benjamin Protess, William K. Rashbaum and Michael S. Schmidt contributed reporting.

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