Trump considered pardoning Ghislaine Maxwell: report

Maxwell is awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges

Maroosha Muzaffar
Wednesday 07 July 2021 07:44
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Ex-president Donald Trump considered issuing a pardon to Jeffrey Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell shortly before leaving office, a new book has claimed.

Journalist Michael Wolff’s book, titled “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency,” claims that Mr Trump took a “sudden interest” in Ms Maxwell’s case in the final weeks of his presidency. The former president allegedly asked: “Has she said anything about me? Is she going to talk?”

Ms Maxwell is awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. She has, however, pleaded not guilty.

Mr Wolff says in the book that the ex-president was “bored” by the “process and details” of pardoning individuals but was determined to use the executive power granted to presidents before he departed the White House, Business Insider reported.

An excerpt of the book, published in the Times of London, said Mr Trump was also considering giving himself a federal pardon saying “they say I can. Unlimited pardon power,” but was dissuaded.

However, he ultimately didn’t grant a pardon to Ms Maxwell during his final weeks in office, during which time he signed off on more than 140 pardons and commutations. The Washington Post had reported that Mr Trump and his close aides, including his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, drew up the list during a meeting in the Oval Office.

The list included former chief strategist Steve Bannon, rapper Lil Wayne, rapper Kodak Black, among others.

New York Times reported that Mr Trump came to his decision after consulting with the criminal-justice advocacy group Cut50, the former Koch Industries executive Mark Holden, and Alice Johnson, a criminal-justice-reform advocate who was convicted on drug-trafficking charges and sentenced to life in prison before Mr Trump commuted her sentence and later granted her a full pardon.

A source had told CNN that “he [Mr Trump] likes pardons because it is unilateral. And he likes doing favours for people he thinks will owe him.”

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