With only hours left of his presidency, President Donald Trump has decided not to grant preemptive pardons to Republican lawmakers who asked for them after the Capitol insurrection.
Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar sought preemptive pardons from Trump. Both Biggs and Gosar, along with Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks, have been accused of helping protesters plan the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the deadly Capitol insurrection.
The movement’s organizer Ali Alexander, said the three congressmen helped him “scheme up” putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting.
While Biggs and Brooks both denied any involvement in the planning, and Gosar declined to comment, they are apparently among the “several Republican lawmakers who are alleged to have been involved in the rally” that have “sought clemency from Trump before he leaves office”.
President Trump decided he would not grant the lawmakers preemptive pardons after meeting with his legal advisors on Saturday.
Trump holds his pardon powers until Joe Biden officially becomes president on Wednesday at noon, the president could change his mind — a move that wouldn’t be unprecedented. Tuesday night, the president pardoned his former campaign CEO and chief strategist Steve Bannon as a last-minute addition to his clemency list.
But many of the president’s closest advisors have warned him not to grant preemptive pardons to Republican lawmakers in order to avoid angering the Senate Republicans who will soon decide his fate in the impending impeachment trial.
Though Trump reportedly agreed that granting preemptive pardons could leave the Republican lawmakers more vulnerable and looking increasingly guilty, that the president was disappointed by the outcome.
In the days since Jan. 6, attendees and participants of the Capitol riots have started to ask for presidential and preemptive pardons, with one Texas real-estate agent saying she was “only following his orders.”
Others who participated, organized, and fundraised for the preceding rally are reportedly concerned about legal exposure.
The president’s legal advisors reportedly encouraged him to refrain from granting pardons to anyone who breached the Capitol earlier this month, out of concern for both his legacy and the law.
Insider / Balkantimes.press