Attorney Rudy Giuliani has discussed the possibility of receiving a preemptive pardon with President Donald Trump “as recently as last week,” The New York Times reported Tuesday.
It is unclear whether Giuliani and Trump came to a decision on the topic or what specifically Giuliani might hope to be pardoned for. The reported conversation is yet another sign Trump and his legal team don’t expect to remain in the White House on January 20. Giuliani has led Trump’s legal efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 election, filing lawsuits across the country that allege widespread voter fraud with scant evidence.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) December 1, 2020
Trump pardoned Michael Flynn before Thanksgiving, leading to speculation that he may go on a spree of pardons before leaving office. The FBI’s investigation into Flynn led to what Trump has described as the Obama administration “spying” on his campaign. U.S. attorney John Durham is currently probing the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, with his findings resulting in one criminal case. (RELATED: Trump Lawyer Says New Wisconsin Lawsuit ‘Won’t Change’ Biden’s Electoral Win)
There is some precedent for blanket preemptive pardons. Then-President Gerald Ford granted former President Richard Nixon a blanket pardon soon after assuming office in 1974, and then-President Jimmy Carter also issued blanket pardons to thousands of Americans who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War.
Trump also has a history of pardoning political allies beyond Flynn. He also commuted the sentence of long-time associate Roger Stone in July, and pardoned the pro-Trump Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2017.