Shortly after reports that Rudy Giuliani discussed a pre-emptive pardon with outgoing President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported that the president is also debating preemptive pardons to his family.
"President Trump has discussed with advisers whether to grant preemptive pardons to his children, to his son-in-law . . . according to two people briefed on the matter," reported Maggie Haberman and Eric Schmidt. "Mr. Trump has told others that he is concerned that a Biden Justice Department might seek retribution against the president by targeting the oldest three of his five children — Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump — as well as Ms. Trump's husband, Jared Kushner, a White House senior adviser."
"Donald Trump Jr. had been under investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, for contacts that the younger Mr. Trump had had with Russians offering damaging information on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign, but he was never charged. Mr. Kushner provided false information to federal authorities about his contacts with foreigners for his security clearance, but was given one anyway by the president," continued the report. "The nature of Mr. Trump's concern about any potential criminal exposure of Eric Trump or Ivanka Trump is unclear."
Pardons can be issued before charges are handed down. However, they do not shield from state liability; Ivanka is currently caught up in an investigation by New York authorities for consulting fees paid out to her that were used in a Trump tax write-off.
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