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In this page (and, no doubt, more reputable sites, but you can seek those out for yourself), Kodak Black says

If The President Them Free Me, I’m Gonna Spend 1 million on Charity within The First Year I’m Out. That’s on Everything

Is this subornment? Is it blatantly illegal, or can it be preconceived is some un-illicit way?

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    I'm not sure how you draw the connection with subornment as defined in your link. "to induce secretly to do an unlawful thing": An announcement to the media is not very secret, and pardons are not unlawful. "to induce to commit perjury": Nobody's committing perjury here. Nov 29 '20 at 19:48
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    It could be bribery under the letter of the law, since this covers a promise "to give anything of value to any other person or entity, with intent to influence any official act". However, I think the adverb "corruptly" also controls this clause, and whether that applies here is not clear. Nov 29 '20 at 19:51
  • @NateEldredge I understand that I may not have found the best phraseology. Can you think of a better way to ask? Feel free to edit the question. From a Mawg of little brain "is this a naughty?" Again, feel better to rephrase that, but it sounds like an ungoodness - which, NVM - is it in any way illegal? Nov 29 '20 at 21:26
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There is a federal crime of bribery, 18 USC 201 that makes it a crime to

directly or indirectly, corruptly gives, offers or promises anything of value to any public official or person who has been selected to be a public official, or offers or promises any public official or any person who has been selected to be a public official to give anything of value to any other person or entity, with intent— (A) to influence any official act; or (B) to influence such public official or person who has been selected to be a public official to commit or aid in committing, or collude in, or allow, any fraud, or make opportunity for the commission of any fraud, on the United States; or (C) to induce such public official or such person who has been selected to be a public official to do or omit to do any act in violation of the lawful duty of such official or person

If the president of the US is a public official or person who has been selected to be a public official, this might be a crime. (I said might, I did not say is: let's first determine if POTUS is one). That section also says

For the purpose of this section— (1) the term “public official” means Member of Congress, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner, either before or after such official has qualified, or an officer or employee or person acting for or on behalf of the United States, or any department, agency or branch of Government thereof, including the District of Columbia, in any official function, under or by authority of any such department, agency, or branch of Government, or a juror; (2) the term “person who has been selected to be a public official” means any person who has been nominated or appointed to be a public official, or has been officially informed that such person will be so nominated or appointed

POTUS is not a Member or Congress, etc: is POTUS "an officer or employee or person acting for or on behalf of the United States, or any department, agency or branch of Government thereof". Is POTUS "an officer", or "an employee"? 18 USC 202 gives a terminological flow chart for specific sections of 18 USC Ch. 11, stating that

Except as otherwise provided in such sections, the terms “officer” and “employee” in sections 203, 205, 207 through 209, and 218 of this title shall not include the President...

§201 is not included in this list of exclusions; but it is also not explicitly included: the law simply does not say.

The problem is that this chapter treats POTUS in three ways. For some sections, he is explicitly not an officer or employee; for one section he is explicitly a covered government person; and for §201, the law does not do not say. Regarding the second term "covered government employee", 18 USC 227 uses a different term that does include POTUS:

In this section, the term “covered government person” means— (1) a Senator or Representative in, or a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress; (2) an employee of either House of Congress; or (3) the President, Vice President, an employee of the United States Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission, or any other executive branch employee (as such term is defined under section 2105 of title 5, United States Code).

That law, btw, says

(a) Whoever, being a covered government person, with the intent to influence, solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation, an employment decision or employment practice of any private entity— (1) takes or withholds, or offers or threatens to take or withhold, an official act, or (2) influences, or offers or threatens to influence, the official act of another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or both, and may be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

This law applies to POTUS, not Kodak Black. And the scope of the law is limited to influencing employment decisions of a private entity – so this law is not applicable.

What SCOTUS would have to rule on is how to interpret the lack of definition w.r.t. §201. There is a book by William Eskridge which discusses the many legal canons that could be used to decide the question. You can also read this summary of law relevant to presidential bribery. As indicated in the subsection on the DoJ's interpretation of the law, it's not a difficult stretch to conclude that POTUS is capable of being bribed, but that's not really the final word on the matter, since that conclusion is influenced by the fact that bribery is constitutionally enumerated as a high crime triggering impeachment. What would matter here is whether POTUS is statutorily an employee w.r.t. §201, a prerequisite for a charge of attempting to bribe.

I.e. we don't know.

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    It doesn't matter whether the president is statutorily an employee for the purpose of section 201, because that section also applies to officers, and, by the plain meaning of the word "officer," which controls in the absence of an explicit definition, the president is an officer. The presence of explicit definitions that explicitly do not apply to the section in question is not particularly relevant.
    – phoog
    Nov 29 '20 at 22:27
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    I actually quoted the exclusion of POTUS from the statutory definition of "officer". Did you read my answer?
    – user6726
    Nov 29 '20 at 23:03
  • As this answer notes, that exclusion does not apply to section 201. But the answer is wrong about the implications of the omission of section 201 from the list in section 202. Did you read my comment?
    – phoog
    Nov 30 '20 at 0:30
  • Sec 20` only applies when someone "corruptly gives, offers or promises anything of value" Unless the offer is corrupt, it does not mater if POTUS is an "officer" for the purpose of that section. Nov 30 '20 at 1:45
  • You have only dealt with statutory bribery - what about common-law bribery?
    – Dale M
    Nov 30 '20 at 2:04
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The currently accepted answer is incorrect to suggest that the president might not fall within the scope of 18 USC 201. There are two reasons for this.

First, the answer claims that whether the president is a "public official" may be called into question because section 201 defines "public official" in terms of "officer or employee," and section 202 defines "officer" and "employee" to exclude the president, albeit for a set of sections that does not include section 201. It is incorrect to gloss over the omission of section 201 from the list of sections to which 202 applies, however. That omission does not mean that "the law simply does not say" but rather that the ordinary meaning of "officer" applies, which certainly includes the president.

Second, the definition of "public official" in section 201 does not include only "officers" and "employees," but it also includes persons. The phrase is "officer or employee or person" (emphasis added). Therefore, this definition applies to the president regardless of whether the definition of "officer" or "employee" excludes the president.

Even one of the sources cited by the other answer says "does the statute apply to the President at all? DOJ says the answer is yes, and I have no reason to think otherwise."

In short, it is indisputable that the president is an "officer or person acting for ... the United States." In other words, the statement "what would matter here is whether POTUS is statutorily an employee w.r.t. §201, a prerequisite for a charge of attempting to bribe" is simply incorrect.

The question would then turn on the other elements of the crime. Some have noted that one element is whether the offer was made "corruptly." The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in its Model Criminal Jury Instructions, says

A person offers a thing of value to a public official “corruptly” if the person acts knowingly and intentionally with the purpose either of accomplishing an unlawful end or unlawful result or of accomplishing some otherwise lawful end or lawful result influenced by the offer of the thing of value to the public official.

Corrupt acts are ordinarily motivated by a hope or expectation of either financial gain or other benefit to one's self, or some aid or profit to another.

Here, the tweet in question has the purpose of "accomplishing [a] lawful end influenced by the offer." There is nothing suggesting that this tweet was anything other than an attempt to induce a decision to offer clemency.

Finally, noting that the promised recipient of the "thing of value" is in this case an unspecified third party or parties, remember that the statute includes an offer or promise made to "any public official ... to give anything of value to any other person or entity."

In conclusion, therefore, the tweet does appear to constitute the US federal crime of bribery.

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