More details are coming out about the pay-for-pardon scheme that was first revealed in federal court filings.
"The Justice Department investigated as recently as this past summer the roles of a top fund-raiser for President Trump and a lawyer for his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in a suspected scheme to offer a bribe in exchange for clemency for a tax crimes convict, according to two people familiar with the inquiry. A federal judge in Washington unsealed heavily redacted court documents on Tuesday that disclosed the existence of the investigation into possible unregistered lobbying and bribery. The people said it concerned efforts by the lawyer for Mr. Kushner, Abbe Lowell, and the fund-raiser, Elliott Broidy, who pleaded guilty in October to a charge related to a different scheme to lobby the Trump administration," The New York Times reported Thursday.
"A billionaire San Francisco real estate developer, Sanford Diller, enlisted their help in securing clemency for a Berkeley psychologist, Hugh L. Baras, who had received a 30-month prison sentence on a conviction of tax evasion and improperly claiming Social Security benefits, according to the filing and the people familiar with the case. Under the suspected scheme, Mr. Diller would make 'a substantial political contribution' to an unspecified recipient in exchange for the pardon. He died in February 2018, and there is no evidence that the effort continued after his death," the newspaper reported. "As part of the effort, someone approached the White House Counsel’s Office to 'ensure' that the 'clemency petition reached the targeted officials,' according to the court documents. They did not say who made the contact or how the White House responded.
w/@kenvogel @ktbenner @adamgoldmanNYT— Michael S. Schmidt (@Michael S. Schmidt)1607045917.0