Justice Department investigating ‘bribery-for-pardon scheme’

National

WASHINGTON (NewsNationNow) — Federal court documents unsealed Tuesday show the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating a “secret lobbying scheme” and a related bribery conspiracy scheme related to a Presidential Pardon.

“[Redacted] would offer a substantial political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon or reprieve of sentence for [redacted],” the court documents said.

Much of the 20-page document is redacted, however, a DOJ official said Tuesday night that no U.S. government official is the “subject or target” of the investigation, Reuters reported.

“[Redacted] and [redacted] acted as lobbyists to senior White House officials without complying with the registration requirement of the Lobbying Disclosure Act… to secure ‘a pardon or reprieve of sentence for [redacted],'” the court documents said.

The order granted the government to review certain attorney-client communications between an unknown group of people.

The DOJ reviewed “over fifty digital media devices,” including iPhones, iPads and other devices.

According to court documents, the emails submitted by the government do not show any direct payments “to [redacted] by [redacted] or [redacted] and instead indicate that [redacted] expected [redacted] to assist in clemency for [redacted] due to [redacted]’s past substantial campaign contributions [redacted] and [redacted]’s anticipated future substantial political contributions.”

Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the documents released.

The government requested last week that the court keep the opinion under seal because it “identifies both individuals and conduct that have not been charged by a grand jury.”

The court denied that request and the government submitted a redacted version on Monday.

President Donald Trump responded to the report on Twitter calling the story “Fake News.”

The court papers made no allegations about the president directly.

This is a developing story.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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