With hours to spare before Christmas, Donald Trump has delivered pardons to Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Charlie Kushner, a passel of war criminals and a bent congressman or two. There is no reason to believe our “law and order” president’s pardon binge is over. Too many people in his immediate orbit remain exposed to future prosecution, including the president himself.
Come noon on 20 January 2021, Trump and his inner circle will be private citizens again. Devoid of legal immunity, stripped of the air of invincibility, they become fair game for federal and local law enforcement alike. The potential for prison hovers over them like the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
Cyrus Vance, Manhattan’s district attorney, is circling Trump and his business. Eric Trump has testified at a court-ordered deposition conducted by New York’s attorney general. As for federal prosecutors in the southern district of New York, they labeled Trump an unindicted co-conspirator in the case of Michael Cohen. The statute of limitations has not expired.
And then there is Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer. According to reports, he remains on the radar of federal law enforcement in connection with possible election law violations, and doesn’t like it one bit. On Wednesday Giuliani lashed out, calling investigators “secret police” and accusing them of toadying to Joe Biden, the president-elect.