Aug 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Ex-DHS official says Trump offered pardons to immigration officials who broke the law

Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff of the Department of Homeland Security, claimed in a political ad released Tuesday that President Trump offered to "pardon U.S. government officials for breaking the law to implement his immigration policies."

Why it matters: Taylor, who quit the Trump administration in 2019 and endorsed Joe Biden last week, is one of a number of Republicans seeking to stop the president's re-election. Trump denied that he offered pardons to immigration officials when the allegations were first reported by the Washington Post and New York Times in August 2019.

What he's saying:

"Even though he had been told on repeated occasions that the way he wanted to do it was illegal, his response was to say, ‘Do it. If you get in trouble, I’ll pardon you.’
It was made clear to the president that it was against the law for us to simply deny anyone entry across the southern border including people who were fleeing violence, persecution, danger. Under the law, they had the right to come in to try to seek refuge in the United States. He said, ‘I don’t care.’ His exact words were, ‘The bins are full.’
The president offered to pardon U.S. government officials for breaking the law to implement his immigration policy. That was the moment I decided I was going to have to quit the Trump administration."

The big picture: Taylor and other former U.S. officials and advisers from the Trump administration have formed an anti-Trump group called the Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform. "We’ll have a broad group of Republicans focused on denying Trump a second term, and most importantly, planning for a post-Trump GOP and America,” Taylor told NBC News.

The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment.

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