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I do beg your pardon: Trump’s plans for his last day in office

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Donald Trump is set to pardon up to 100 people on his last day in office. A pardon is a constitutional act that allows the president to set aside a punishment for a federal crime. The popular rapper Lil Wayne is among those expected to receive a pardon, along with white-collar criminal Sholam Weiss, whose 835 year prison sentence, imposed due to 78 criminal charges of including racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering, is the longest white-collar criminal sentence ever granted in the United States of America. It is not uncommon for presidents to issue pardons at the end of their terms: for example, Bill Clinton pardoned Marc Rich in a move that was widely criticised, due to Marc Rich’s wife donating a substantial amount of money to Clinton based causes. Trump has previously issued a number of highly controversial pardons to members of his campaign staff, Roger Stone and Paul Manafort, who were originally convicted, among other things, of witness tampering and conspiracy to obstruct justice. It is not expected that Trump will pardon himself, any members of his family, nor his personal lawyer Rudy Guilliani. While Trump’s reported decision not to pardon himself may at first seem admirable, especially in the face of both his upcoming impeachment trial, as well as the vast amount of potential legal issues he faces once out of office, this decision was reportedly not made for ethical or moral reasons, but rather to assuage the house republicans who will be voting in Trump’s impeachment trial later this year, who would likely see a self-pardon as antagonistic.

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