The pardons are being a nice little racket for some.

Allies and associates of President Donald Trump have collected tens of thousands of dollars in fees from those seeking pardons from the President, The New York Times reported Sunday.

I assume Donald expects a cut.

The Times, citing documents and interviews with more than three dozen lobbyists and lawyers, reported that the lobbying for clemency intensified as it became apparent Trump had no standing to challenge his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden. Those who monetized the lobbying efforts include a former federal prosecutor, a former personal lawyer to the President and a former top Trump campaign adviser, among others, the Times reported.

Nothing at all filthy or shaming or grotesque about any of this.

As of late December, Trump was considering pardons for more than two dozen people in his orbit whom he believes were targeted — or could be targeted in the future — for political ends. That’s in addition to hundreds of requests from others who have approached the White House directly, and tens of thousands more whose petitions are pending at the Justice Department.

According to the Times, former US attorney Brett Tolman has collected tens of thousands of dollars in recent weeks to seek clemency for several people. Tolman did not respond to the New York Times’ request for comment. CNN has also reached out to Tolman for comment.

The Times noted that “there is nothing illegal about Trump associates being paid to lobby for clemency” and that any explicit offers of payment to the President could be investigated for possible violations of bribery laws. There is no evidence, however, that Trump was offered money in exchange for a pardon, according to the newspaper.

Nothing illegal maybe but everything skeevy and corrupt and gross. It’s not how any of this should work.

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