Mr. Trump has shunned that process more than any recent president, creating an ad hoc system in the White House run by Mr. Kushner and relying on input from an informal network of outside advisers, including Mr. Tolman.
That system favors pardon seekers who have connections to Mr. Trump or his team, or who pay someone who does, said pardon lawyers who have worked for years through the Justice Department system.
Any explicit offers of payment to the president in return could be investigated as possible violations of bribery laws; no evidence has emerged that Mr. Trump was offered money in exchange for a pardon.
Some who used resources or connections to try to get to Mr. Trump say clemency should be granted to more people, independent of their clout.
“The criminal justice system is badly broken, badly flawed,” said the former senator, Tim Hutchinson, a Republican who served in Congress from 1993 to 2003.
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