Trump Expected To Issue Up To 100 Pardons On Final Day Of Office

One thing that has become clear over the course of the Trump Administration is that President Donald Trump's unpredictable nature has done a lot to separate the governmental checks and balances that are actually codified in law from conventions that the president is simply supposed to adhere to.

And while a whole book could be written about how many institutions have had their power imbalances laid bare by what Trump has been allowed to do, nowhere is that more clear than in his capacity to issue presidential pardons.

Although we may have once assumed that there are some limits as to when, how, and to whom the president can issue a pardon, Trump has shown precisely how broad his pardoning power truly is.

And based on a list of pardons that's expected to surface on January 19, it seems he's planning on flexing that power just as hard on the final day of his presidency.

On Sunday, President Trump met with advisers to finalize a list of pardons and sentence commutations he's expected to act on tomorrow.

That information comes courtesy of Reuters, who suggested that the list of people expected to receive this clemency could exceed 100.

And while the full list of affected parties isn't publicly known, there are some familiar faces who could be on it.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Trump has considered pardoning rapper Lil Wayne as he faces gun charges and commuting the sentence of another artist named Kodak Black, who was sentenced last year for similar crimes.

Reuters has also reported that Palm Beach eye doctor Dr. Salomon Melgen is likely to receive a pardon of his own after going to jail for multiple counts of health car fraud.

However, it apparently remains unclear as to how many of Trump's allies can expect the same consideration.

As The Guardian reported, Steve Bannon has not yet been confirmed as a future pardon recipient after facing charges for allegedly defrauding citizens who donated to what they thought was an initiative to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

It's also unclear whether Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has any hope of securing a pardon as he and the president are now involved in a dispute over unpaid legal fees.

While it's true that anything can happen, it seems probable at this time that Trump won't use his final day in office to pardon himself.

According to Reuters, this was the subject of some debate between Trump and his advisers, who have told him that a self-pardon would make him look guilty.

It's also unclear whether there's a constitutional basis for U.S. presidents pardoning themselves as none throughout American history have attempted to do so.

Trump has also discussed the possibility of preemptively pardoning members of his family but neither those nor a self-pardon appear to be on the table for now.

Those who get left off the list for a pardon tomorrow will have missed their last chance if they were relying on President Trump.

As The Guardian reported, his term officially ends at noon on Wednesday, after which he is expected to skip President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration and head for his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.

We'll just have to see who stayed in his good graces for long enough.

h/t: Reuters, The Guardian

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