New Details Emerge in the 'Pardon for Cash' Bribery Scheme; Now We Have Names

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

As my RedState colleague Jeff Charles reported on Tuesday, the Justice Department is in the midst of an investigation into an alleged bribery scheme in which a presidential pardon was sought — before President Trump presumably leaves office on January 20.

According to court documents that were unsealed on Tuesday, the scheme involved a substantial political contribution in exchange for a pardon or reprieve.

“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.’”

Now, as reported by the Daily Wire, new details emerged on Thursday night — and those two redacted people have been named. The New York Times reported that the investigation involves a top fundraiser for Trump and an attorney connected to the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Neither Trump nor Kushner are mentioned as having participated in the alleged scheme, not whether either or both of them had knowledge of it if it occurred. Additionally, no bribe was ever paid.

Via Daily Wire:

Sources said “it concerned efforts by the lawyer for Mr. Kushner, Abbe Lowell, and the fund-raiser, Elliott Broidy, who pleaded guilty in October to a charge related to a different scheme to lobby the Trump administration,” the Times reported.

“A billionaire San Francisco real estate developer, Sanford Diller, enlisted their help in securing clemency for a Berkeley psychologist, Hugh L. Baras, who had received a 30-month prison sentence on a conviction of tax evasion and improperly claiming Social Security benefits, according to the filing and the people familiar with the case.”

“Under the suspected scheme, Mr. Diller would make ‘a substantial political contribution’ to an unspecified recipient in exchange for the pardon,” the report added. “He died in February 2018, and there is no evidence that the effort continued after his death.”

No bribe was ever paid. No one has been charged in the DOJ’s inquiry into the matter. No government officials are currently the subject of a target of the inquiry.

Separately, as reported by CNN on Tuesday, some Trump associates are allegedly pushing Trump to pardon his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

President Donald Trump’s associates are making appeals to him in the hopes of obtaining pardons before he leaves office, a source familiar with the matter told CNN on Tuesday.

The source said the list of associates broaching the subject of preemptive pardons that would seek to shield those individuals from prosecution includes Rudy Giuliani, who has been leading the President’s long-shot legal battles to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in his role as Trump’s personal attorney.

[…]

Giuliani denied discussing a preemptive pardon with the President, telling CNN that The “(New York) Times is completely wrong.” He further denied that he has talked to anyone at the White House about a pardon for himself.

It’s not clear what potential criminal exposure Giuliani or other associates are attempting to preempt. But the first source familiar with the discussions went on to cite what friends and allies of the President see as hostility from the incoming Biden administration toward Trump associates.

One person who would like to see Trump pardon not only Rudy Giuliani but himself and his “entire” family, as well, is Fox News host Sean Hannity, who on his Monday radio show called on Trump to do exactly that.

“The president out the door needs to pardon his whole family and himself, because they want this witch hunt to go on in perpetuity … he should be able to pardon anybody that he wants to.”

Needless to say, pitched battles between fired-up partisans on social media are going on as we speak as to whether Trump should follow Hannity’s advice, as well as many of his supporters. Personally, if I were Trump, I’d go for it — just to stick up the in the face of the Democrat Party and its sock puppets in the media.

The larger question is what crimes have Donald Trump allegedly committed that would make him a candidate for a presidential pardon in the first place. Of course, the Democrat Party and its allies in the liberal media have accused, tried, and convicted Trump of any number of “crimes” from the moment he became president. But where’s the beef? Hell, lunatic Rep. Maxine Waters (D-IDIOT) has been blathering on to anyone who will listen, “Impeach 45! Impeach 45! Impeach 45!” since before Trump was even inaugurated. 

As I said above, if I were Trump I’d go for it. And here’s how I’d do it:

Wait until the last possible moment before Biden is presumably inaugurated on January 20. Let the liberal media think about until the end. Then, just when they sigh in hypocritical relief, stick it to ’em. Stick it to them hard, on the way out the door.

Stick it to ’em hard, Donald. And twist it while you’re at it. Among the potential “stickees,” is Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post — among those at the top of the “stickee” list.

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