Turkish Corn stands next to National Thanksgiving Day, when U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during his 73rd annual lecture (and grace) at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on November 24, 2020.
Hannah McKay | Reuters
Tuesday’s report said President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, recently spoke to the president about possibly receiving preventive pardon before Trump leaves office.
Discussions between the two men, detailed by The New York Times, occur as Giuliani leads the final, long-term legal effort with Trump’s campaign to reverse President Joe Biden’s election president’s expected victory at Trumpon Electoral College.
“It’s not true,” Giuliani told a text message to CNBC when asked about the Times report.
Giuliani, who has not been charged with a crime, was known a year ago to be under investigation by the U.S. New York Southern District Prosecutor’s Office. The same Manhattan Federal Prosecutor’s Office that Giuliani headed in the 1980s before being elected mayor of New York City in 1993.
The probe allegedly focused on Giuliani’s actions and relationships in Ukraine, where he tried to dig for months about Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. The status of the study is unknown.
The House of Representatives acquitted Trump last year and was eventually acquitted after a Senate hearing for putting pressure on the President of Ukraine to launch an investigation into Hunter Biden’s business relations in that country while Trump approved congressional military support for that nation.
The Times reported that Giuliani had talked to Trump about a preemptive grace last week, citing two people familiar with the case.
According to the newspaper, the men had discussed this possibility earlier.
Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, did not respond immediately to CNBC’s comments. A White House spokesman declined to comment.
Although rare, it is legal for the president to pardon people for federal crimes before these people are actually charged with such crimes.
Former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani, U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer gestured as he spoke after the media announced that Joe Biden, the U.S. Democratic presidential candidate, won the 2020 U.S. presidential election in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 2020. November 7.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters
The most famous example of this happened in 1974, when President Gerald Ford pardoned his immediate predecessor, Richard Nixon, who resigned in disgrace after the Watergate scandal. Nixon was the target of a criminal investigation, but he was not charged when Ford granted this controversial pardon.
Ford’s successor in the White House, President Jimmy Carter, gave preemptive pardon to hundreds of thousands of American men who evaded the draft during the Vietnam War.
Last week, Trump pardoned his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, for lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a Russian diplomat before Trump was inaugurated.
Flynn, who pleaded guilty to the case before he later turned around, had yet to be convicted. The Ministry of Justice tried to overturn this verdict and dismiss the charge at the time of the pardon.
Other lawyers for Giuliani and Trump’s campaign over the weeks have claimed the president has been fraudulently deceived from winning the 2020 election.
But these lawyers have not presented evidence of significant fraud. And the campaign and its allies have either lost or withdrawn lawsuits to invalidate Biden’s ballot papers, which won both the Electoral College and the referendums.
Giuliani suggested that state lawmakers could overthrow the outcome of their elections and nominate Trump’s voters to the Electoral College, nullifying Biden’s expected victory.