Rudy Giuliani Didn’t Get Pardoned By Donald Trump. Here’s Why

In the last hours of Donald Trump’s White House administration, the former president, without social media, focused his energy on two controversial fronts: orchestrating the federal executions of 13 people on death row and granting presidential pardons to dozens of convicted criminals, many of whom allegedly paid tens of thousands to lobbyists to represent their interests on their behalf. And while many of those people were expected to be eventually pardoned before Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021, it’s those who were omitted from the list that have caused the biggest stir.

As Al-Jazeera and The Daily Beast reported, the list of Trump’s last pardonees extended to more than 70 people, as well as 70 prison sentence commutations. Among them included former White House strategist and Breitbart founder Steve Bannon, who allegedly skimmed $1 million from Trump fundraising campaigns; rapper Lil’ Wayne, who pled guilty for possession of firearms and ammunition in December 2020 after his 2019 arrest; and former Republican National Convention deputy finance chairman Elliott Broidy, who pled guilty to participating in foreign lobbying.

Notably absent from the list were Joseph “Joe Exotic” Maldonado-Passage, the subject of the hit Netflix docuseries Tiger King; Trump’s own children, who the former president purportedly debated pardoning before stepping down from office for offenses that have remained unclear; and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. 

Here's why Rudy Giuliani's lack of pardon wasn't much of a surprise

The last entry in Donald Trump’s list of non-pardonees, attorney and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, had become increasingly predicted by many, following the increasingly obvious rift between the two in the last remaining weeks of Trump’s presidency. Many pinpointed Giuliani’s fall-from-grace to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, in which hundreds of right-wing rioters violently stormed the Capitol Building — some of whom bore Confederate flags and symbols affiliated with white nationalist groups — following a Trump rally in which both Giuliani and Trump have been accused of using to directly incite the attendees.

Since then, Giuliani’s calls have been blocked by Trump after Trump ordered his aides to cease any and all payments to his personal lawyer, and he has been barred from representing Trump in the ex-president’s second impeachment trial, the basis of which is founded upon Trump’s participation in the Jan. 6 insurrection. But while the reason for Giuliani’s lack of a preemptive pardon might, indeed, have a great deal to do with Trump actively keeping his distance from his arguably once-closest ally, it might boil down to a much simpler matter.

Rudy Giuliani said he didn't 'want or need a pardon' from President Trump

According to a piece published by Forbes on Jan. 19, 2021, Rudy Giuliani — who The New York Times also alleged may or may not have participated in illegally selling pardons himself — did not receive a pardon from ex-president Donald Trump for a simple reason — he doesn’t want one. 

Forbes reporter Andrew Solender tweeted a brief statement relayed to him by Giuliani when the lawyer and former Trump crony was asked as to his opinion regarding the concept of a Trump pardon in general. In response, Giuliani said the following: “I don’t need or want a pardon.” (Solender himself followed up his initial tweet with a bit of circumstantial framing for the direct quote, adding, “Context: I, like every reporter in DC, asked if he was getting a pardon.”)

Giuliani’s purported refusal to even consider the idea of a pardon, regardless if Trump actually granted him one, is also tied to something a bit more basic than Trump’s repudiation of his former ally. Namely, that receiving a preemptive pardon would feasibly — but indeterminately — indicate Giuliani committed crimes as-of-yet unknown to the public, per The Daily Beast. More than that, receiving a said pardon would, in short, be bad publicity for the already-unpopular attorney. In the end, only time will tell what lays in store for the former mayor of New York City. 

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