No, Fox News did not say Trump pledged to forgive Ghislaine Maxwell in 2024
In late 2021 and early 2022, critics of former US President Donald Trump, mostly from the left, enthusiastically shared a social media post that seemed to add some credibility to long-standing rumors about him.
On December 29, a New York jury convicted English socialite Ghislaine Maxwell for helping her longtime companion, disgraced billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein, sexually assault underage girls over a period of years. Epstein died in prison in August 2019, while facing sex trafficking charges, in what the New York medical examiner determined was suicide.
Like other influential and well-connected politicians and businessmen, Trump knew and socialized with both Epstein and Maxwell, and he has long been the subject of so far unfounded rumors of sexual misconduct involving young people. women and even girls.
In this context, @ USAlight3, a Twitter account that regularly posts left-wing anti-Trump content, wrote on December 30:
“FOX NEWS: Trump promised to pardon Ghislaine Maxwell if he wins in 2024.
The claim was that Fox News had reported that Trump had said he would forgive Maxwell if he was elected president again in 2024. In reality, Fox News had not reported any such thing.
In the summer of 2021, multiple media outlets wrote about an excerpt from Michael Wolff’s book “Landslide” which alleged, based on anonymous sources, that Trump mentioned Maxwell in conversations about his presidential pardon power. , before he left office in January. 2021. Notably, Trump did not actually pardon Maxwell, although the charges against her were well known at the time. We give a rating of “Mostly False”.
Out of logical necessity, any Trump “wish” to pardon Maxwell if he wins the election in 2024 should have taken place after President Joe Biden’s election victory in November 2020 (otherwise, Trump would have formulated his intention in terms of a second term) . We haven’t been able to find any such report on the Fox News website in the time since Biden’s victory. We also did not find any similar reports from any other reputable source of information. Thus, the “2024” claim, in particular, was without merit.
However, while unproven, the broader claim that Trump had an interest in forgiving Maxwell was at least based on an external source, namely Michael Wolff’s 2021 book “Landslide”. In it, Wolff describes the chaotic final days and weeks of Trump’s presidency, and in one section, writes about Trump’s approach to pardoning, as follows:
Bored with the process and the details, Trump is said to have searched for candidates last week, with sudden bursts of determination not to leave that power unused. “Who do you think should be pardoned?” Give me a person, who is your first choice? Has become a frequent interruption in the conversation.
A “Oh, shit” moment involved his sudden interest in Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend who now faces years in prison for allegations of her role in the Epstein sex abuse scandal. Trump had tried to play down his own long relationship with Epstein. “Did she say something about me?” he asked himself openly. “Is she going to speak?” Will she roll over someone? But the forgiveness talk almost immediately ended with the question of whether he should forgive himself: “They say I can. Unlimited power of grace.
Wolff’s putative sources are not named, so we can’t even begin to test the accuracy of this description. However, one thing we are certain of is that Trump did not actually pardon Maxwell anything while he was president, although he has the power and the ability to do so.
Colson, Thomas. “Trump took a ‘sudden interest’ in Ghislaine Maxwell when discussing who to forgive, according to a new book.” Business intern, https://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-ghislaine-maxwell-case-pardons-michael-wolff-book-2021-7. Accessed January 4, 2022.
Commutations granted by President Donald J. Trump (2017 – 2021). December 20, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/pardon/commutations-granted-president-donald-j-trump-2017-2021.
“Did Bill Barr’s dad ‘mentor’ Jeffrey Epstein and write a ‘weird’ novel? ” Snopes.com, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/bill-barr-jeffrey-epstein-book/. Accessed January 4, 2022.
Ghislaine Maxwell indicted in Manhattan Federal Court for conspiring with Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse minors. July 2, 2020, https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/ghislaine-maxwell-charged-manhattan-federal-court-conspiring-jeffrey-epstein-sexually.
Ghislaine Maxwell Sentenced in Jeffrey Epstein Sexual Abuse Case: Live Updates. ” AP NEWS, December 29, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/ghislaine-maxwell-convicted-jeffrey-epstein-trial-verdict-63a71a2825eab41184a79e37bb967e90.
Nast, Condé. “’Great fun to be with’: inside Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump’s Epic Bromance. ” Vanity Fair, January 21, 2021, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/01/jeffrey-epstein-and-donald-trump-epic-bromance.
Pardons Granted by President Donald J. Trump (2017-2021). August 28, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/pardon/pardons-granted-president-donald-j-trump-2017-2021.
Prokop, André. “Jeffrey Epstein’s ties to Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained. ” Vox, July 9, 2019, https://www.vox.com/2019/7/9/20686347/jeffrey-epstein-trump-bill-clinton.
“Trump considered pardoning Ghislaine Maxwell: report.” The independent, July 7, 2021, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-ghislaine-maxwell-pardon-epstein-b1879428.html.