US President Donald Trump

Trump moves to avert more resignations, prepares pardons for aides, families

*Top officials of Donald Trump administration consider staying on to smooth transition to President-elect Joe Biden

*Opponents suggest self-pardon amounts to an admission that Trump thinks he may be prosecuted for breaking the law after office

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Following the unprecedented invasion of the United States (US) Capitol Hill Wednesday, January 6, 2021, and subsequent far-reaching damaging implications on the reported declining reputation of the advanced country in the eyes of the global world, President Donald Trump has risked losing many of his White House staff to mass resignations as a test of staff loyalty amid the leadership crisis.

President Trump allegedly incited a riot at a rally earlier Wednesday morning, thereby impelling his supporters and ‘lawless extremists’ to barge into the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., agency report said.

The assault came after President urged them to march on the Capitol after at a rally outside the White House.

However, it was learnt that top officials have decided to stay on to smooth the transition to President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary, in a brief statement to reporters Thursday, January 7, in which she condemned the storming of the Capitol Hill, said: “Those who work in this building are working to ensure an orderly transition of power.”

McEnany stressed that her statement was on behalf President Trump, who has not personally condemned hundreds of his political supporters who broke through Police lines to invade the Capitol and disrupt congressional certification of Biden’s electoral victory.

Close sources indicate that most of Trump’s senior staff have considered quitting, following the incident at the Capitol, according to people familiar with the matter.

But top officials, including National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Deputy Chief of Staff Chris Liddell were said to be concerned about what would unfold if they left Trump’s administration early.

Officials’ Concern

Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former Chief Of Staff, in a Bloomberg Radio interview Thursday also noted that some top-level officials are reluctant to quit “in large part because they’re afraid of who might replace them.”

Security Advisor O’Brien is seen as a bellwether, and that had he resigned, many more administration officials likely would have followed suit, according to report.

However, Hope Hicks, one of Trump’s closest and longest-serving aides, was reported to be considering resigning. She has rarely been seen in the White House in recent days, according to report.

Other political appointees across the administration weighed resignation, with many coming to the same conclusion: while disillusioned by the president and his behaviour, it was better to stay on for the good of the country, especially considering the Commander-in-Chief’s state of mind, according to people familiar with the matter.

As guardrails on Trump, nonetheless, a person said administration officials needed to stay in their jobs to maintain guardrails around the outgoing President.

Although the official expressed pride in the Trump administration’s foreign policy achievements, but he fretted any success would be overshadowed by Wednesday’s events culminating in invading the hallowed chambers of the Capitol Hill.

The people asked not to be identified because the discussions have been private.

Trump’s aides have received hundreds of e-mails and texts from friends, family and supporters urging them to abandon the President, ratcheting up external pressure to resign.

Another person described a feeling of guilt-by-association for remaining in the White House.

One also described the President’s spell over American politics being broken, the curtain pulled back, and said former allies are distancing themselves.

In terms of reputation damage, administration officials are between their desire to serve the country and the threat of damage to their reputation from remaining in Trump’s government, said the concerned official.

Some of Trump’s aides worry the president may decide to fire much of his staff, sensing they have turned on him.

But top officials decided it would be a disaster for the nation if resignations left the White House short-handed before Biden takes over January 20, 2021, report stated.

Meanwhile, President Trump has prepared a sweeping list of individuals he’s hoping to pardon in the final days of his administration.

The list includes senior White House officials, family members, prominent rappers ─and possibly himself, according to familiar sources.

The President is hoping to announce the pardons on January 19 ─ his final full day in office ─ and his ideas are currently being vetted by senior advisers and the White House counsel’s office, according to report.

As regards the proposed comprehensive state pardons, the biggest question facing the President’s legal team may be whether he has the authority to pardon himself.

Report indicates that Trump has discussed this with top aides in recent weeks, according to the people familiar with his conversations.

Trump has previously claimed the power, though it’s a matter of legal dispute and has never before been attempted by a president.

A self-pardon could also prove a major political liability and hamstring another presidential bid, with opponents sure to suggest the self-pardon amounted to an admission that he thought he might be prosecuted for breaking the law.

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