LEGAL/MEDIA/MICHAEL COHEN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “President Trump said on Thursday [5-31-18] that he planned to issue a pardon to Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative author, commentator and filmmaker, and was strongly considering commuting the sentence of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, a Democrat. Flexing his clemency power as he and his team face multiple criminal investigations of their own, Mr. Trump also said that he was looking at the case of Martha Stewart, the lifestyle mogul who spent five months in prison for lying to investigators about the timing of a stock sale. The pardon for Mr. D’Souza, who pleaded guilty in 2014 to making illegal campaign contributions, represents a victory for one of the president’s most vocal bases of support, the conservative media. Mr. D’Souza has argued that he was singled out for prosecution because of his conservative politics…The D’Souza pardon comes as one of Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers, Michael D. Cohen, is under investigation for possibly violating federal campaign finance laws. Mr. Trump’s lawyers and aides have become resigned to the possibility that Mr. Cohen could offer information to the authorities about work he did for Mr. Trump, and critics of the president said the latest pardon could be a signal to Mr. Cohen that he would be pardoned, too, if he declined to cooperate with federal officials.”

-Eileen Sullivan and Peter Baker, “Trump Will Pardon Dinesh D’Souza, and Is Weighing Leniency for Rod Blagojevich and Martha Stewart,” The New York Times online, May 31, 2018