Trump could pardon Steve Bannon, Rick Gates and even Joe Exotic in ‘wave’ before he leaves office

A GROWING list of people plan to seek pardons from President Donald Trump in exchanged for him looking after them during his last few weeks in the Oval Office.

Trump's pardon of his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday has prompted speculation that others could be next in line.

The list of infamous and anonymous requests reportedly include Tiger King Joe Exotic, Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, and former White House adviser Steve Bannon, according to a New York Times report published on Wednesday.

There's even speculation that Trump might try to pardon himself.

Also of interest are former Trump campaign advisers Rick Gates and George Papadopoulous, who like Flynn were convicted in cases related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

Both are associated with Manafort, who is serving time in home confinement due to coronavirus fears after being convicted of conspiracy to defraud the US and witness tampering.

"The president knows how much those of us who worked for him have suffered, and I hope he takes that into consideration if and when he grants any pardons," Gates told the newspaper.

Gates pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 45 days in jail last December for conspiring against the US and making false statements in the Russia probe, while Papadopoulos also pleaded guilty to lying and spent just days in federal prison before being placed on a 12-month supervised release.

Bannon in August was indicted on charges of defrauding donors who helped fund Trump's goal to build a border wall with Mexico – charges he later pleaded not guilty to.

Attorneys and others who have spoken with White House officials told the newspaper they anticipate that Trump will take advantage of his pardoning power in cases that go beyond those involved in Mueller's investigation.

"Lists of people are being circulated," Vermont laywer Brandon Sample told The Times.

Exotic pleaded the president to pardon him in a handwritten letter he wrote from his Texas jail cell, where he's currently serving a 22-year sentence for a plot to kill Carole Baskin.

Trump vowed to "take a look at" a pardon for the so-called Tiger King in April.

Florida congressman Matt Gaetz has suggested that Trump pardon everyone – including Exotic – to quench the "bloodlust of the radical left."

The conservative politician urged the president to use his powers “effectively and robustly” to grant wholesale pardons to foil attempts by liberal activists to “come after the people who worked so hard to animate the Trump administration”.

“He should pardon everyone from himself to his administration officials to Joe Exotic if he has to,” Gaetz said in a Fox News interview on Thursday.

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