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The Department of Justice is investigating allegations of a possible “bribery conspiracy scheme” in which “a substantial political contribution” was offered in exchange for a presidential pardon, according to heavily redacted court documents unsealed Tuesday.
What are the details?
CNN reported that the filings submitted in late August do not “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 the summer.”
No one appears to have yet been charged with any crimes, but the DOJ stated that “over fifty digital media devices, including iPhones, iPads, laptops, thumbs drives, and computer external hard drives” were seized in a probe involving what the government called a “secret lobbying scheme.”
The documents also pointed to “a related bribery conspiracy scheme in which [redacted] would offer a substantial political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon or reprieve of sentence for [redacted].”
The White House declined to comment to CNN on the report.
An unnamed DOJ official did tell Fox News that “no government official was or is currently a subject or target of the investigation in this filing.”
President Donald Trump has faced scrutiny from Democrats for some of the pardons he has issued, particularly those granted to allies who were targeted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of Russian interference with the 2016 election — namely former campaign adviser Roger Stone and former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn.
But Trump has only granted 28 pardons and 16 commutations of sentences during his four years in office, which is fewer than any president in more than 100 years.