Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Congressman Krishnamoorthi Calls On Acting Attorney General To Open A Full Investigation Into Allegations Of Bribery And Influence Peddling For Presidential Pardons

January 19, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi wrote to acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen regarding the latest allegations of access peddling and potentially bribery by individuals pursuing pardons from President Trump. In response to these allegations, Congressman Krishnamoorthi called on the acting Attorney General to launch a full investigation into all these allegations of corruption of the pardon process through the Department of Justice or a Special Counsel.

“I am writing with grave concern following recent reports that President Trump intends to issue as many as 100 pardons in his final day in office at the same time that his close associates have been selling access to the President to those seeking clemency for thousands of dollars and potentially far more,” Congressman Krishnamoorthi wrote. “Based on these reportedly widespread schemes, and at least one ongoing investigation into pardon-related bribery attempts, it has become clear that the opening of a full Department of Justice investigation or the appointment of a Special Counsel has become necessary to address the full range of attempts to corrupt President Trump’s use of his pardon power while holding those responsible to account.”

Congressman Krishnamoorthi went on to note the President’s already unprecedented use of his pardon power and his consideration of testing its limits:

“Beyond the serious risks and questions inherent to these unprecedented potential abuses of his power, the President’s rejection of established systems for reviewing pardons eliminates transparency and accountability from the system which also help safeguard it from even the appearance of corruption and impropriety. Traditional safeguards are now absent while associates of Rudy Giuliani, the President’s personal attorney, are telling those seeking clemency that Mr. Giuliani could help them secure pardons for $2 million.  These allegations and the potential crimes they reveal must be investigated.”

Citing the singular nature of the threats to the integrity of the pardon process and the larger justice system, Congressman Krishnamoorthi closed his letter with his request for the acting Attorney General;

“In light of these unprecedented circumstances, of unknown scope and enormous seriousness, I urge you to immediately open a Department of Justice investigation or appoint a Special Counsel before the transition to address the allegations of corruption around the pardon process while sending a clear message that regardless of party, regardless of administration, the United States will not tolerate the corruption of the pardon process.”

A copy of Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s letter is available here.