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Report: DOJ investigating a bribery-for-pardon scheme

Report: DOJ investigating a bribery-for-pardon scheme

This is coming from CNN but it’s not based on anonymous sources. Instead it’s based on court documents, redacted versions of which have been published. What the documents indicate is that back in August Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court reviewed a request for documents involving a pay-for-pardon investigation. That’s really all we know at this point but the mystery will only make this more fascinating for DC journos, I suspect. So let the speculation begin:

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The filings don’t reveal a timeline of the alleged scheme, or any names of people potentially involved, except that communications between people including at least one lawyer were seized from an office that was raided sometime before the end of this summer…

“The political strategy to obtain a presidential pardon was ‘parallel’ to and distinct from [redacted]’s role as an attorney-advocate for [redacted name],” Howell wrote in her court order…

Over the last week, the Justice Department told Howell it wanted to keep filings related to the matter confidential in court, because “individuals and conduct” hadn’t yet been charged.

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Looking at the documents themselves, it seems phones, ipads and laptops seized in connection with the scheme revealed a plan in which two individuals, whose names are redacted, “acted as lobbyists to senior White House officials” without registering as lobbyists. The goal was to secure a pardon for the unnamed third party. In addition, the documents say there was a plan for someone (redacted) to make a “substantial political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon or reprieve of sentence for [redacted].”

From Hot Air by John Sexton

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