Trump was talked out of pardoning himself at the last minute, with lawyers saying it would make him look guilty and possibly open up more legal issues

donald trump
President Donald Trump on the White House South Lawn.

  • On Saturday, President Trump’s lawyers and advisors talked him out of pardoning himself, his family members, and Republicans involved in the rally that preceded the Capitol riot, CNN reported.
  • White House counsel Pat Cipollone reportedly told Trump that a self-pardon was unlikely to hold up in court and would make him look guilty, possibly opening him up to more legal issues.
  • Trump agreed with Cipollone, but was disappointed with the outcome, a source told CNN.
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President Donald Trump was talked out of issuing preemptive pardons for himself and members of his family, as well as clemency for Republicans involved in the rally that precipitated the Capitol breach, during an hours-long meeting with lawyers and advisors on Saturday, CNN reported.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone is said to have told Trump that a self-pardon was unlikely to hold up in court, and would give the appearance of guilt – possibly opening Trump up to further legal issues in the future, according to CNN. 

Trump’s lawyers and advisors also said that granting clemency to Republican lawmakers involved in the “Save America” rally on January 6 could lead to Senate Republicans turning on him in his upcoming impeachment trial, CNN reported.

Trump agreed with Cipollone, but was disappointed with the outcome, CNN reported. A source also told the outlet that Trump was left “spooked” by the conversation. 

Read more: Here’s how Biden will demolish Trump’s legacy

Since he lost the 2020 election, Trump is said to have been seeking a way to issue preemptive pardons for both himself and members of his family to shield against possible criminal charges after the White House.

Trump has used his pardoning power often since losing the election, and on Tuesday, his final full day in office, he granted 73 pardons and 70 commutations.

Among those who received pardons since November are several of his associates, including Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. On Tuesday he also pardoned his former advisor Steve Bannon, with whom he had previously fallen out.

It’s possible that Trump may issue more pardons, since he retains the executive power until noon on Wednesday. 

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