There are now so many pardon requests there’s a spreadsheet for them, but Trump’s so angry at the lost loyalty, the list could be smaller. Trump just sees no evil, even in a mirror. There may be a firing spree, among other irrational acts by a Trump now confronted by Putin and even McConnell’s acknowledgements of the election results.
Another name among the many under consideration for clemency: Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, who has come under scrutiny by investigators for his role in hush money payments.
Nowhere is the end of Trump's term more obvious than in the push for pardons.“It's turned crazy,” one person familiar with the efforts said. “There's a lot of activity.”Because Trump has shown little interest in using the Justice Department's Pardon Attorney system for assessing requests for executive clemency, petitioners are approaching the White House directly, calling or emailing senior adviser Jared Kushner, chief of staff Mark Meadows or White House counsel Pat Cipollone — when they can't get ahold of Trump himself.“Everyone assumed there's no formal process and they should reach out to the administration directly,” the person said. “Everyone hopes they have a friend of a friend of a friend of a cousin who they hope will get them to read their email.”
If there is a governing principle in who appears most likely to secure clemency, it is someone the President either knows personally or who has powerful connections lobbying on their behalf. At least one person working on behalf of clients seeking pardons said they hoped their loyalty to Trump over the past four years would pay off now.
As it happens, Trump is mulling the pardons at a juncture when loyalty appears his principal concern, complaining repeatedly over the past weeks that Republicans are deserting him when he needed them to help overturn the election results.He has largely frozen out those advisers and associates who do not seem on the same page. One person who used to speak to Trump regularly, but who delicately encouraged him to soften his post-election stance, no longer has his calls returned and hasn't heard from Trump in weeks.
In all, the President is considering pardons for more than two dozen people in his orbit whom he believes were targeted — or could be targeted in the future — for political ends. That's in addition to hundreds of requests from others who have approached the White House directly, and tens of thousands more whose petitions are pending at the Justice Department.
More about his “Apprentice” brand.
The likelihood of Trump firing top officials he’s been frustrated with or feels betrayed by is expected to increase over the holidays
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 16, 2020
While Trump’s frustrations with Attorney General Bill Barr boiled over in recent days, and Barr resigned on Monday, the president’s advisers hope he’s been persuaded against ousting Wray. Multiple current and former senior administration officials said firing Wray does not appear imminent, but they also point out that the president could make such a decision on a whim at any time. Indeed officials said they are prepared for Trump to go on a firing spree before leaving office next month.