- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 3, 2020

It wasn’t Rudolph W. Giuliani, Michael Flynn or Roger Stone.

The heavily redacted court documents about a bribery-for-presidential-pardon investigation, which were released earlier this week, did not involve any of these much-speculated-about men.

Instead, according to a report Thursday in The New York Times, the papers concerned efforts by attorney Abbe Lowell and fund-raiser Elliott Broidy to secure clemency for a Berkeley psychologist on tax evasion and federal-benefits conviction.

The Times reported that billionaire San Francisco real estate developer Sanford Diller enlisted the two men in his efforts to secure clemency for Hugh L. Baras, who had received a 30-month prison sentence.

“Under the suspected scheme, Mr. Diller would make ‘a substantial political contribution’ to an unspecified recipient in exchange for the pardon,” The Times wrote.

The report cited “two people familiar with the inquiry.”

But nothing came of Mr. Diller’s scheme. No bribe was paid, and the Justice Department’s inquiry resulted in no charges.

Mr. Diller died in 2018, and “there is no evidence that the effort continued after his death,” The Times wrote.

Mr. Lowell did represent Mr. Baras, but Reid Weingarten, a lawyer for Mr. Lowell, told The Times that Justice Department officials with whom he had spoken left him “with the impression they had absolutely no concerns with Mr. Lowell’s conduct.”

Mr. Lowell also is a lawyer for presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner.

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