Justice Department Investigating Potential Pardon-For-Cash Bribery Scheme

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

 

As if we didn’t already need more intrigue in the White House. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating an alleged scheme involving bribes and pardons. 

According to court documents that were unsealed on Tuesday, the plot involves pardons in exchange for bribes. The Hill reported:

“The court records, which were unsealed by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, say the DOJ investigation involves two people, whose names are redacted, who were improperly acting as lobbyists to secure the pardon for a person whose name is also redacted. The plot involved the person offering ‘a substantial political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon or reprieve of sentence.’”

The documents do not name the people involved in the alleged scheme, and they do not implicate President Trump in the matter. The unsealing of the documents comes as President Trump is considering potential candidates for pardons and commutations. 

The heavily-redacted filing shows that the authorities seized a number of devices used to carry out the plot. According to The Hill, “The release shows investigators recovered more than 50 digital devices, including iPhones, iPads, laptops and computer drives, after a raid of unidentified offices. The prosecutors were requesting access to the devices on suspicion that they showed alleged criminal activity regarding the ‘secret lobbying scheme’ for the unnamed person.”

According to the documents, Chief Judge Beryl Howell conducted a review in August of a request from federal prosecutors to examine the records obtained by federal authorities. 

From The Hill:

“The files indicate the devices contain communications between a defendant and an attorney, which are typically kept from prosecutors because they are considered privileged. However, such privilege is not applied when an exchange involves discussion of a crime, and Howell granted prosecutors access to the devices.”

The documents do not include the names of the individuals involved in the plot. They also do not indicate when these people allegedly cooked up the scheme. However, the filing does explain that the two people who were ironing out the illegal agreement acted as lobbyists to senior members of the administration but did not adhere to the Lobbying Disclosure Act’s registration requirement. 

The prosecutors have not yet given evidence to the judge related to a direct payment in exchange for a pardon. But the documents indicated that the person looking for clemency were looking for protection regarding political contributions they had made. 

President Trump is considering a series of pardons, which has inspired speculation as to whom he may grant clemency. Last week, the president raised eyebrows when he issued a pardon for his former national security adviser General Michael Flynn. Some believe that he will issue pardons for other Trump allies that might be targeted by the left. Others have suggested that the president pardon himself to protect from the inevitable lawfare that the left will wage against him after he leaves office. 

But as more information is released, the corporate press will likely try to imply that Trump is responsible for this alleged plot, even if the documents don’t name him in the investigation. After all, this is what they do, isn’t it? 

 

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