- Former President Donald Trump talked of pardoning himself while in the White House.
- His son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner “dissuaded” him, a forthcoming book by journalist Michael Wolff says.
- If Trump did, states might be motivated to go after him more, Kushner argued, according to the book.
Former President Donald Trump talked of pardoning himself while in the White House but his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner “dissuaded” him, a forthcoming book by journalist Michael Wolff says.
“They say I can. Unlimited pardon power,” Trump said, according to an excerpt of the book “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency” published by The Times of London.
Kushner argued, however, that Trump giving himself a federal pardon — a president’s only pardon power — might motivate states to go after him even more, Wolff writes.
“Still, with such a lot of people out there who wanted to hurt him, he should pardon the whole family, shouldn’t he — even Barron?” Wolf wrote, referring to Trump’s teenage son. “Kushner elided. (Other family members would note that Kushner did, though, grab a pardon for his own father.)”
The excerpt notes that Trump faces serious legal issues and could be indicted, including for financial issues and others. Last week, the Manhattan district attorney’s office charged the Trump organization and its longtime chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg with financial crimes in an ongoing investigation.
During the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Trump tweeted that he had the “absolute right” to pardon himself “but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” The New York Times also reported that he talked about it in the days before leaving office.
The excerpt says Trump was “excited” by pardon power at the beginning of his term but later became “bored by the process and the details” and began asking people for their “top pick” for pardoning.
Trump also took a “sudden interest” in Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend who is awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges in the Epstein scandal, the excerpt says.
“Has she said anything about me?” Trump asked about Maxwell, according to Wolff’s book. “Is she going to talk? Will she roll on anybody?”