Biden developing pardon process with focus on racial justice, expected to issue acts of clemency before middle of term

The White House is currently in the process of reviewing clemency applications and has signaled that President Joe Biden, who views the pardon power as a key tool for advancing equity, will issue acts of clemency before the middle of his presidential term. Biden is shown here at the White House on March 4, 2021 in Washington, DC. By Maegan Vazquez, CNN

(CNN) -- The White House is currently in the process of reviewing clemency applications and has signaled that President Joe Biden, who views the pardon power as a key tool for advancing equity, will issue acts of clemency before the middle of his presidential term, a source familiar with the matter tells CNN.

The White House has informed activists that Biden will not wait until the end of his term to begin granting people clemency, and that they should be expected before the middle of this presidential term, the source said.

The New York Times was first to report on the timing of the clemency requests being considered by the Biden White House.

The White House Counsel's Office is leading the clemency efforts, working alongside the Domestic Policy Council and Office of Public Engagement, the source said.

Deputy counsel to the President Danielle Conley is the point person leading the efforts within the White House Counsel's Office, and others in the office involved include Lauren Moore, Tona Boyd and Dana Remus, the White House counsel.

The White House Domestic Policy Council and the White House Office of Public Engagement have facilitated discussions with advocates and experts, but are in a support role, the source said. The White House is in the process of reviewing applications and is working the Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney to vet applicants.

The Justice Department tracks how many petitions for clemency and pardons have been collected for each president as far back as William McKinley, the nation's 25th president.

As of May 10, there were 3,211 pardon and 11,804 clemency petitions pending since Biden was sworn in, with none granted or rejected, according to the Justice Department.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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