Profiting from Pardons: Giuliani Aide Told CIA Whistleblower a Trump Pardon Would Cost $2 Million


Democracy Now!

Published on Jan 20, 2021

With less than 12 hours before the end of his presidency, Donald Trump issued 143 pardons and commutations, including a pardon for Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist and campaign manager. Trump, who has pardoned other associates and allies during his single term, has so far rejected calls to pardon prominent whistleblowers including WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and NSA whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Reality Winner. Details continue to emerge about how allies of Trump have personally profited from people seeking pardons. We speak with John Kiriakou, a former CIA analyst and case officer who exposed the Bush-era torture program and was the only official jailed in connection to it, about the pardon system. He says an associate of Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani offered him a pardon for $2 million, which Kiriakou declined to pay. “They don’t see this as a bribe,” says Kiriakou. “This is the way Washington works.”

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