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PRESIDENT Trump could issue a wave of pardons today, with Julian Assange, Rudy Giuliani and Joe Exotic all among the possibilities.
After pardoning his former national security adviser Michael Flynn before Thanksgiving, Trump is reportedly planning another round of pardons before Christmas, according to Axios.
It was previously reported that Trump was considering pardons for several friends and allies, as well as WikiLeaks Founder Julain Assange, who has been at a British prison for the past 19 months fighting extradition to the United States.
Assange, who is facing espionage charges in the US and a rape allegation in Sweden, created WikiLeaks – which published confidential government documents – in 2006.
The website came into the national spotlight in 2010 after it exposed classified documents from then-US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.
Manning was pardoned by former President Barack Obama before he left office.
Reports also claim that Trump is considering pardons for his own children, Donald Jr, Ivanka, and Eric, and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, fearing that the incoming Joe Biden administration would unfairly target them, according to the New York Times.
Trump is also reportedly considering pardons for his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and pleaded guilty in 2018, and former White House advisor Steve Bannon.
Bannon in August was indicted on charges of defrauding donors who helped fund Trump's goal to build a border wall with Mexico – charges he later pleaded not guilty to.
Also among the long list of possible pardons is Joe Exotic, the eccentric animal trainer who rose to fame in Netflix's Tiger King.
Exotic is locked up on animal abuse charges as well as conspiracy to commit murder for a hire plot involving his nemesis, Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin.
The Tiger King star recently filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department for not presenting an earlier request for a pardon to President Trump himself, according to the New York Post.
There is also speculation that Trump may pardon himself, though it's unclear if he would legally be permitted to.
No president has ever tried to pardon himself in the past, and the constitution does not provide a clear answer on if it's possible.
It's unclear at this time who will be included in Trump's latest batch of pardons, and as of now, the president's clemency rate is far lower than his predecessors'.
As of late November, Trump had granted clemency just 44 times, according to Pew Research Center.
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