Giuliani and Trump report discussing ‘preliminary grace’ in US news

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Donald Trump and Rudy Giulani discussed the possibility of “prior grace” last week, the New York Times wrote.

Christianne Allen, a spokesman for the president’s personal lawyer, told the Times: “Mayor Giuliani cannot comment on any of his discussions with his client.”

Shortly after the Times published its story, Giuliani tweeted a rejection.

“Fake News is now lying again,” he wrote. “He never continued the controversy that was falsely attributed to an anonymous source. It’s hard to keep up with all their lies.

The Times cited two anonymous sources.

Presidential grace is a common feature of the dwindling days of any White House cycle. Trump has not acknowledged Joe Biden’s defeat, but will nevertheless leave office on January 20th.

Last week, the president pardoned his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI for contacting a Russian official.

Trump has already pardoned political allies, including Bernard Kerik and Joe Arpaio, and changed the sentence imposed on long-serving ally Roger Stone. Former Trump assistants Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos and Rick Gates are all potential recipients of grace.

Gates, a former vice president of campaigners who also worked on Trump’s inauguration, pleaded guilty to financial fraud and investigator lies and was sentenced to 45 days in prison.

He told Times Trump last week, “you know how much of us who have worked for him have suffered, and I hope he takes that into account if and when he gives grace”.

Giulian, a former mayor of New York, has not been convicted of a federal crime. But allegedly, federal prosecutors are under investigation for their connections in Ukraine and possible violations of the lobbying law.

Giuliani’s own lawyer, Robert Costello, told the Times: “I’m not worried about this investigation because he didn’t do anything wrong, and that’s been our position from day one.”

Presidential pardons that precede charges or convictions are extremely rare, but not unknown. Jimmy Carter, for example, pardoned thousands of men who illegally evaded the draft Vietnam War.

Richard Nixon’s pardon from Gerald Ford, after resigning from the Watergate scandal, covered all of his presidential activities.

On Monday, conservative commentator Sean Hannity said on a radio show that Trump “must pardon his entire family and himself”.

Most observers believe that self-grace is unconstitutional and probably wouldn’t even work. If Trump did try, it wouldn’t affect New York State prosecutors investigating his tax cases and possible violations of the campaign finance law.

According to the Department of Justice, presidential pardon does not mean that the addressee is innocent.

The White House did not comment on the Times report.