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Congressman Krishnamoorthi Calls On White House Counsel To Publicly Disclose All Pardons Issued By President Trump

July 21, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi today wrote to White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn, calling on him to publicly disclose all pardons issued by President Trump. Rep. Krishnamoorthi's letter comes in response to the Washington Post’s report that President Trump and his legal team have explored his power to pardon as a means of disrupting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. The signed letter is available here and the text follows:

July 21, 2017


The Honorable Donald F. McGahn, II

Counsel to the President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20006


Dear Mr. McGahn:                             


It was reported on July 20, 2017, that President Trump has asked his legal team about the extent of his pardon powers: whether they extend to White House aides, family members, or even the President himself.

While most pardons are handled by the Office of the Pardon Attorney, the President still retains the right to issue pardons to any person, at any time, for any cause. The Office of the Pardon Attorney makes their documents available, but there is no guarantee that all pardons issued by the President will be made public. The President can grant pardons after an individual has been incarcerated, before the sentence is imposed, or – as President Ford’s pardon of President Nixon confirms – before a charge is brought.

The power of the pardon extends far beyond the individual who receives it. An individual with a secret pardon has a pre-emptive grant of immunity from prosecution and is under no obligation to make that fact public until charges are brought. This person would be unlikely to cooperate with an ongoing investigation or testify against co-conspirators in exchange for leniency.

Special Prosecutor Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is a matter of utmost importance to the health of our Republic. Americans deserve to know the full extent of this meddling and the harm it caused. Those who aided and abetted it must be brought to justice. Pre-emptive pardons will only serve to further obfuscate the truth behind a fog of deceit.

I respectfully ask that you commit to making public all pardons issued by the President. Robert Mueller’s team – and all Americans – need to know who will be cooperating with the ongoing investigation



Raja Krishnamoorthi

Member of Congress