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 TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' 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 NadlerJudiciary members battle over whether GOP treated fairly in impeachment hearings Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay House passes bill that would give legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers MORE (D-N.Y.), as well as committee members Reps. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenKoch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill On The Money: Lawmakers strike spending deal | US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline | Lighthizer fails to quell GOP angst over new NAFTA Judiciary members battle over whether GOP treated fairly in impeachment hearings MORE (D-Calif.) and Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenOvernight Defense: Mattis downplays Afghanistan papers | 'We probably weren't that good at' nation building | Judiciary panel approves two impeachment articles | Stage set for House vote next week Democrats approve two articles of impeachment against Trump in Judiciary vote Democrat suggests Republicans took acting classes based on ability to 'suspend disbelief' 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 SandersBill Press: Mulvaney proves need for daily briefings White 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' 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 puts Kushner in charge of overseeing border wall construction: report Hillicon Valley: Google to limit political ad targeting | Senators scrutinize self-driving car safety | Trump to 'look at' Apple tariff exemption | Progressive lawmakers call for surveillance reforms | House panel advances telecom bills Minority lawmakers call out Google for hiring former Trump DHS official MORE resigned form the agency's top job earlier this month. He was previously serving as Customs and Border Protection commissioner.