Daily US Times: An associate of Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, told a former CIA officer a presidential pardon was “going to cost $2m”, according to the New York Times report published on Sunday in the latest bombshell to break across the last, chaotic days of Trump’s presidency.
The NYT report detailed widespread and in some cases lucrative lobbying involving people seeking a pardon as President Trump’s time in office winds down. President, impeached twice, will leave power on Wednesday with the inauguration of Joe Biden.
John Kiriakou, the former CIA officer who was jailed in 2012 for leaking the identity of an operative involved in torture, told the newspaper that he laughed at the remark from the associate of Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor who as President Trump’s personal attorney is reportedly a possible pardon recipient himself.
Kiriakou reportedly said: “Two million bucks – are you out of your mind? Even if I had two million bucks, I wouldn’t spend it to recover a $700,000 pension.”
The Times said an associate of Kiriakou reported the conversation to the FBI.
Meant to reward offenders who show contrition, presidential pardons do not imply innocence. Presidents often use them to reward allies but Donald Trump has taken the practice to extremes.
Among recent recipients of pardons or acts of clemency from Trump are Michael Flynn, the president’s first national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts with Russia; the political dirty trickster Roger Stone, who did not turn on Mr Trump during the Russia investigation in which he was convicted of obstructing Congress; Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign manager convicted in the Russia investigation.