Washington, D.C. (CNN) – The White House has assembled the paperwork to pardon dozens of people, two sources with knowledge of the developments tell CNN, signaling that President Donald Trump is poised to exert his constitutional power and intervene, in some instances, where he believes the Justice Department has overstepped.
The administration has prepared the pardoning paperwork for at least 30 people, the sources tell CNN. The President signed paperwork for one of those individuals on Wednesday: 63-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, whose life sentence was commuted by the President, according to two sources. Johnson was sentenced in 1996 on charges related to cocaine possession and money laundering.
Trump has not followed the typical procedure for granting pardons, often choosing instead to bypass the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney while wielding his constitutional power.
Critics have raised the question of whether Trump is sending a signal to his former allies and aides who are facing criminal charges in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation with his robust use of his pardoning power.