Does Rudy Giuliani Have a Secret Pardon Up His Sleeve?
September 22, 2022
Rudy Giuliani has never been one to hold back his Sleeve, even when it’s not the best time to say something. This time, in particular, he may have gone a little too far.
At the Aspen Ideas Festival, Mr. Giuliani said that Trump …has no intention of pardoning himself… While this seems like a safe assumption at first glance, there is some ambiguity to be found in our nation’s history of pardons that should make us wonder if Giuliani knows what he’s talking about. If Trump does pardon himself, will anyone notice?
The George Papadopoulos Case
Late last year, George Papadopoulos was named as one of the four people who have been charged in Mueller’s investigation. Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, says that Papadopoulos lied to FBI agents during an interview on January 27. He was arrested on July 27 and pleaded guilty two weeks later. He faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines when he is sentenced at the end of September.
The news comes from a tweet from Papadopoulos’ lawyer, Thomas Breen. Here’s what he had to say: We will have the opportunity to comment on George’s involvement when called upon by the Court at a later date. We look forward to telling you all of the details of George’s story at that time.
It should be noted that Papadopoulos is expected to get less than one year in prison for his Sleeve in these activities. At least that’s what Mueller told him in return for his cooperation. The question then becomes: What did he cooperate with and what did they ask him about?
The Paul Manafort Case
Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman, was convicted on eight counts of financial crimes in August 2018. What does that mean for his Sleeve trial in the District of Columbia? Despite prosecutors seeking little or no jail time because Manafort has not yet been sentenced and he has shown remorse for his Sleeve, I believe it is likely that he will be punished accordingly.
Nevertheless, many speculate about what President Trump might do if Manafort receives prison time. He may decide to pardon him as presidents have done before in similar circumstances. For example, President Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon and President George H.W. Bush pardoned Reagan after they were charged with crimes but before they were sentenced by a judge or found guilty in court.
Should Trump Seek a Presidential Pardon for Michael Cohen?
Whether or not he does, one thing is for sure: if there was a hidden pardon for Donald Trump and his Sleeve, it would have to be executed by the President. As you might know, pardons are reserved for those people who were unjustly convicted and served their sentence but who pose no risk to society. This will lead to certain questions like: what would these pardons look like? What would they entail?
And most importantly—who exactly have these pardons been granted to by the President in the past that have worked out so well with nobody finding out about them until now? For instance, just this month we learned that Ken Duberstein had been awarded a pardon by Ronald Reagan back in 1987 without anyone noticing. You see, Duberstein was set up on an international cocaine smuggling operation by George H.W. Bush’s White House staff while working as Reagan’s chief of staff.
He received two years probation after being caught in 1987 but later received an official presidential pardon without notice when Reagan left office the following year. But wait! There’s more! It turns out that Clinton did something similar just before leaving office with Marc Rich! That guy committed multiple crimes including tax evasion, wire fraud, and trading oil with Iran while they were still considered enemies of the United States (and also giving millions of dollars to Democrats).
Asking the Right Questions
Why would Rudy Giuliani be asking the President to pardon himself and members of his Sleeve for any crimes they might have committed? It’s not uncommon for presidents to grant pardons to friends and political allies, but Trump already pardoned General Michael Flynn.
If that is what he wants, why does he need another pardon, especially one that covers his Sleeve? What if he does have a pardon from either the president or Vice President Mike Pence waiting up his sleeve – just in case? But even if there isn’t an explicit pardon waiting in the wings, the process of issuing one is often murky and legal challenges are common.
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