Trump’s ‘solo act’ push for presidential pardons likely to grow, WH officials say

PHOTO: President Donald Trump pauses during a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., May 28, 2018.PlayTom Brenner/The New York Times via Redux
WATCH Trump hints more commutations to come

The White House has been working to prepare documents for a growing list of potential pardons or commutations under consideration by President Donald Trump, two senior administration officials told ABC News Thursday.

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"You don't want to be the person empty-handed when he's asking," one of the officials said. "Need to be ready when the boss is ready to go.”

Officials describe the push for pardons as "a solo act," pointing directly to Trump’s pushing for more and more names.

White House aides believe Trump is grasping for names he knows like Martha Stewart and former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, sources told ABC News, while the aides lobby the president to consider also more unknown Americans who have been behind bars for nonviolent crimes.

The sources said they expect the president's list to grow in the coming weeks. "He's doing it his way and he likes seeing how quick the process has been," one of the sources said.

The White House, as ABC News has reported, has been going around the Department of Justice, which is usually heavily involved in such cases.

Trump Wednesday commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old woman who has served almost 22 years in federal prison for a first-time criminal offense, a move that came after reality-television star Kim Kardashian West pleaded her case last week in the Oval Office.

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