Lawmakers request information on reported pardon for acting DHS secretary

Lawmakers request information on reported pardon for acting DHS secretary
© Greg Nash

Three lawmakers on Tuesday requested information on whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE offered to pardon acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan if McAleenan broke any laws while implementing Trump's immigration policies.  

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerDem committee chairs blast Trump G-7 announcement Top Democrat holds moment of silence for Cummings at hearing Barr to speak at Notre Dame law school on Friday MORE (D-N.Y.), as well as committee members Reps. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenThis week: Tensions flare over Schiff, impeachment inquiry Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg defends handling of misinformation in political ads | Biden camp hits Zuckerberg over remarks | Dem bill would jail tech execs for lying about privacy | Consumer safety agency accidentally disclosed personal data House panel pushes forward election security legislation MORE (D-Calif.) and Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenDemocrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Hill editor-in-chief: 'Hard to imagine' House leadership without Cummings Top Democrat holds moment of silence for Cummings at hearing MORE (D-Tenn.), requested the information from McAleenan, according to a copy of the letter published by CNN. 

"These allegations, if true, would represent a grave breach of the duties of the President," the letter said.  

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Trump told McAleenan he ”would pardon him if he ever went to jail for denying U.S. entry to migrants,” CNN reported Saturday, citing two officials briefed on the exchange. The New York Times reported that Trump asked McAleenan to close the border and told the acting secretary that he would pardon him if the directive caused him legal problems. 

"The reported discussion between you, President Trump, and other Department personnel follows a troubling pattern of conduct that has emerged over the past two years that appears to demonstrate that President Trump views the pardon power as a political tool, or even worse, as an expedient mechanism for circumventing the law or avoiding the consequences of his own conduct," the lawmakers wrote.

They gave McAleenan until April 30 to provide the information and also requested that he and other officials who may be familiar with the reported exchange testify before Congress. 

White House press secretary Sarah HuckabeeSarah Elizabeth SandersWhite House correspondent April Ryan to moderate fundraising event for Buttigieg White House press secretary defends lack of daily briefings: Trump 'is the most accessible president in history' Sarah Huckabee Sanders says she is 'relentlessly' attacked by women MORE Sanders denied the allegations that Trump offered McAleenan a pardon and that he asked him to close the border. 

McAleenan became acting DHS secretary after Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump confirms Rick Perry to step down as Energy secretary Trump says acting Homeland Security chief McAleenan will step down Activists to demonstrate at ICE headquarters after Cameroonian immigrant dies in custody MORE resigned form the agency's top job earlier this month. He was previously serving as Customs and Border Protection commissioner.