AN investigation into an alleged White House cash-for-pardons scheme focused on a lawyer for Jared Kushner and a top Trump campaign fundraiser, according to a shock report on Thursday.
Court documents revealed on Tuesday outlined an investigation by the Justice Department into a potential "secret lobbying scheme."
The scheme was said to have offered political contributions to the White House to try to secure a "presidential pardon or reprieve of a sentence."
On Thursday, The New York Times reported that this investigation revolved around alleged efforts by son-in-law Kushner's lawyer, Abbe Lowell.
The investigation also reportedly surrounded fundraiser Elliott Broidy, who in October pleaded guilty to another charge that was related to a separate apparent scheme to lobby the Trump administration.
The Times reports that Sanford Diller, a billionaire real estate developer in San Francisco, asked for their help in getting clemency for Hugh L Baras.
Baras, a psychologist, reportedly received 30 months in prison for tax evasion and improperly claiming Social Security benefits.
The alleged scheme included Diller making “a substantial political contribution” to an unspecified person in exchange for a pardon.
Diller died in 2018, and there is no evidence the bribe effort continued after that.
According to the Times, as part of that scheming effort, someone reached out to the White House Counsel's Office to "ensure" the “clemency petition reached the targeted officials."
Baras was not given clemency; he went to prison in 2017 and was released in 2019.
No one has been charged in the investigation, according to the government.
Reid Weingarten, a friend of and lawyer for Lowell, told the Times: “This is much ado about precious little."
“They investigated and concluded that nothing was amiss. In addition, prosecutors did not have the slightest issue with Abbe.”
Allegations about the scheme were detailed in 20 pages of court documents – of which large portions were redacted.
There is no suggestion that Trump or senior White House officials are personally implicated in the alleged bribery scheme.
Court documents stated that over 50 electronic devices – including iPhones, iPads, laptops, computer and hard drives, and thumb drives, were seized along with email communications in investigations of the alleged incidents.
The docs alleged there was a "secret lobbying scheme" in which two redacted names "acted as lobbyists to senior White House officials, without complying with the registration requirement of the Lobbying Disclosure Act."
The documents alleged this was "to secure 'a pardon or reprieve of a sentence'" for a person, whose name was also redacted.
Taking to Twitter earlier this week, Trump attacked reports of the probe.
“Pardon investigation is Fake News!” he wrote.
More to follow…
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