Categories for Pardons

31,457. 12/9/2019

MEDIA/PARDONS/ROGER STONE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Roger Stone’s supporters are making a pardon pitch everywhere President Donald Trump looks: Fox News, InfoWars, Twitter, even the White House driveway. Michael Flynn abruptly hired a bombastic lawyer who spouts Trump-friendly theories about FBI duplicity that are widely seen as a pardon play. In any other administration, at any other time, it would be shocking to consider the possibility that three men with such deep personal ties to the president might get their legal troubles expunged in an election year — not to mention by a president facing impeachment. In any other administration, at any other time, it would be shocking to consider the possibility that three men with such deep personal ties to the president might get their legal troubles expunged in an election year — not to mention by a president facing impeachment. But this is not any other administration.”

Darren Samuelsohn and Meridith McGraw, “Possible pardons loom for former Trump aides,” Politico, December 9, 2019 5:03 am

28,140. 9/4/2019

DHS/HOUSE OF REPS/IMMIGRATION/INVESTIGATIONS/PARDONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday [9-4-19] subpoenaed the Department of Homeland Security for documents connected to President Donald Trump’s alleged offer to pardon officials who break the law while carrying out his immigration agenda. Trump has denied making such an offer, and his allies have reportedly claimed his closed-door comments — revealed in media reports — were jokes. But Democrats say they want to see the records from inside the department, particularly as the Judiciary Committee weighs the prospect of impeachment…Nadler said his panel will also hold hearings in the coming months related to the issue of pardons as it continues its sweeping investigation into possible obstruction of justice, corruption and abuses of power by the president. The New York Democrat added that the ‘troubling pattern of obstruction of justice would represent a continuation of the misconduct identified in the Mueller report.’”

Kyle Cheney, “Judiciary panel issues subpoena on Trump’s alleged offer to pardon DHS officials,” Politico, September 4, 2019 5:52 pm

27,307. 8/8/2019

GOP/PARDONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “Illinois’ delegation of House Republicans on Thursday [8-8-19] urged President Donald Trump not to commute the sentence of Rod Blagojevich, the state’s former governor, after the president told reporters he was considering doing so. In a statement, Reps. Darin LaHood, John Shimkus, Adam Kinzinger, Rodney Davis and Mike Bost said that commuting Blagojevich’s sentence ‘sets a dangerous precedent and goes against the trust voters place in elected officials’…The state’s Republican delegation previously wrote to Trump in June 2018, also to oppose a presidential commutation of Blagojevich’s sentence. The Thursday statement renewed the call after Trump told reporters a day earlier that he felt Blagojevich’s seven years in prison had been enough.”

Matthew Choi, “Illinois Republicans urge Trump to keep Blagojevich in prison,” Politico, August 8, 2019 8:43 pm

27,282. 8/7/2019

DEMS/PARDONS/TRUMP PEOPLE: “President Donald Trump said Wednesday [8-7-19] he was considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, saying seven years was enough time in prison…Blagojevich, a Democrat, was impeached then removed from office in 2009 for corruption and was later indicted on multiple corruption charges. He was accused of trying to solicit personal favors and sell the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Barack Obama winning the presidency. During the case, a tapped phone conversation revealed Blagojevich saying: ‘I’ve got this thing, and it’s fucking golden. I’m just not giving it up for fucking nothing.’ Trump dismissed the governor’s comments from his phone call as ‘braggadocio’ and insufficient for a conviction…Blagojevich — who was once a contestant on Trump’s TV show ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ — was sentenced to 14 years in prison, though his family has unsuccessfully tried to appeal the decision multiple times. The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal last year.”

Matthew Choi, “Trump says he’s considering commuting Blagojevich sentence,” Politico, August 7, 2019 11:45 pm

27,007. 7/29/2019

PARDONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “President Trump granted clemency to seven men on Monday [7-29-19], including Ted Suhl, an Arkansas man convicted in 2016 of paying bribes to a state official. Mr. Trump commuted Mr. Suhl’s prison sentence and that of Ronen Nahmani, a Florida man convicted in 2015 of selling synthetic marijuana. The remaining men received pardons for convictions stretching back decades. Mr. Suhl, 54, was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2016 after a jury found him guilty of four out of six charges related to the bribes, according to reports at the time. Federal prosecutors had argued that the bribes, sometimes funneled through a church, were paid in order to increase Medicaid funding to his juvenile mental health counseling businesses…That commutation was encouraged by Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and a longtime supporter of Mr. Trump, and Bud Cummins, a former federal prosecutor in the state. Mr. Nahmani, 44, was convicted in 2015 of conspiring to distribute synthetic marijuana in Florida.”

Niraj Chokshi and Heather Murphy, “Trump Grants Clemency to 7 Men in Cases Dating Back Decades,” The New York Times online, July 29, 2019

26,849. 7/24/2019

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT/PARDONS/TRUMP PEOPLE: “After Bernard L. Madoff admitted to masterminding the largest Ponzi scheme in history and bilking thousands of investors out of their cash, he was punished with a sentence that made it likely he would die in federal prison — 150 years. Now, a decade into his time, at the age of 81, Mr. Madoff is seeking to have his sentence commuted by President Trump. He has filed a petition for clemency with the Justice Department, according to their website. It was not clear when Mr. Madoff filed his petition, or what arguments he is making for the request. The Justice Department declined to comment. The department’s website said that information in its online clemency database was last updated on July 1, and that Mr. Madoff’s request, which was first reported by CNBC, was still pending on that date. Petitions for clemency, which include pardons and sentence commutations, are sent to the Office of the Pardon Attorney in the Justice Department. The office reviews petitions and makes recommendations on their merits to the president, who has constitutional authority to grant pardons and make final decisions on cases.”

Michael Gold, “Madoff Asks Trump to Commute His 150-Year Sentence,” The New York Times online, July 24, 2019

26,101. 6/27/2019

COURTS/LEGAL/PARDONS/PAUL MANAFORT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Paul J. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, was escorted into a courtroom on Thursday [6-27-19] to face state fraud charges that the Manhattan district attorney has brought in an effort to ensure Mr. Manafort could still face prison time even if he is pardoned for his federal crimes. Appearing in New York State Supreme Court on Thursday, Mr. Manafort, who once wore designer suits and commanded lucrative fees as a political consultant, wore navy blue scrubs, a loose brown belt and white sneakers, his hands shackled at his waist. He walked with a slight limp and had to be helped as he got into his seat. ‘Not guilty,’ he said when asked how he pleaded to the charges in a 16-count indictment that he falsified business records and engaged in a conspiracy to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars in loans for several residential properties in New York. Mr. Manafort has been serving a seven-and-a-half-year sentence at a federal prison in Pennsylvania after being convicted of tax and bank fraud in two cases stemming from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.”

Sharon Otterman, “Manafort Pleads Not Guilty to N.Y. Charges Designed to Thwart a Trump Pardon,” The New York Times online, June 27, 2019

25,139. 5/21/2019

LEGISLATION/NEW YORK/PARDONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The New York State Assembly passed a bill on Tuesday [5-21-19] that would allow state prosecutors to pursue charges against any individual granted a presidential pardon for similar federal crimes, closing a loophole that lawmakers said could be exploited by President Trump in a bid to indemnify former associates. The bill, which has already passed the State Senate and has the support of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, would exempt the state’s so-called double jeopardy law from cases involving presidential pardons, something supporters say is necessary to stave off a possible abuse of Mr. Trump’s pardon power. On Wednesday, the Legislature — controlled by Democrats — is expected to pass a separate bill that would allow three congressional committees to seek Mr. Trump’s state tax returns; that bill also has the support of Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat in his third term. The legislative efforts may prove a viable way to circumvent the White House’s stonewalling of attempts by the House of Representatives to investigate behavior of the Republican president and his subordinates. On Tuesday, Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel, ignored a House subpoena to testify on attempts to obstruct the investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election.”

Jesse McKinley, “Albany Closes a Loophole for Trump Pardons. Next Up: His Taxes.,” The New York Times online, May 21, 2019

24,041. 4/16/2019

BORDER/DEMS/IMMIGRATION/PARDONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Top Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee requested information Tuesday [4-16-19] related to President Donald Trump’s reported offer to pardon a top border official if he acted illegally to block asylum seekers. Multiple media outlets reported Friday [4-12-19] that Trump earlier this month told Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan he’d pardon him if he broke the law to deny migrants the ability to petition for asylum. It wasn’t clear whether the president intended the remark as a joke, and Trump denied later that day on Twitter that he ‘offered pardons to Homeland Securi[t]y personnel in case they broke the law.’ News of the pardon offer followed Trump’s announcement last week that former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen would step down from her post and be replaced in an acting capacity by McAleenan. The dismissal was part of a department purge as the White House seeks to stem the flow of Central American migrants to the U.S. The number of border crossers arrested in recent months rose to the highest levels in more than a decade and likely will increase during the warmer months ahead.”

Ted Hesson, “Judiciary Democrats seek details on Trump’s reported offer to pardon border chief,” Politico, April 16, 2019 4:25 pm

23,981. 4/13/2019

BORDER/DHS/PARDONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “I never offered Pardons to Homeland Security Officials, never ordered anyone to close our Southern Border (although I have the absolute right to do so, and may if Mexico does not apprehend the illegals coming to our Border), and am not ‘frustrated.’ It is all Fake & Corrupt News!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, April 13, 2019 6:51 pm

23,438. 3/25/2019

PARDONS/RUSSIA INVESTIGATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “There have been no conversations about President Donald Trump issuing pardons for any of his associates who have been charged or pleaded guilty as part of the U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, the White House said on Monday [3-25-19]. There has been ‘no discussion that I’m aware of’ regarding pardons, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. Fellow White House spokesman Hogan Gidley also told MSNBC in an interview that the White House has not had any conversations about such pardons. Gidley said he did not know whether any lawyers for Trump’s associates had approached the White House counsel about pardons. Mueller’s team finished up work on Friday and submitted its findings to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who issued a four-page summary on Sunday. Barr said the Special Counsel’s Office had found no evidence of criminal collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election but had left open the issue of whether Trump had tried to obstruct justice.”

Reuters, “White House Says Pardons for Trump Associates Not Discussed,” The New York Times online, March 25, 2019

23,431. 3/25/2019

PARDONS/RUSSIA INVESTIGATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “There have been no conversations about President Donald Trump issuing pardons for any of his associates who have been charged or pleaded guilty as part of the U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, the White House said on Monday [3-22-19]. There has been ‘no discussion that I’m aware of’ regarding pardons, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. Fellow White House spokesman Hogan Gidley also told MSNBC in an interview that the White House has not had any conversations about such pardons. Gidley said he did not know whether any lawyers for Trump’s associates had approached the White House counsel about pardons. Mueller’s team finished up work on Friday [3-22-19] and submitted its findings to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who issued a four-page summary on Sunday. Barr said the Special Counsel’s Office had found no evidence of criminal collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election but had left open the issue of whether Trump had tried to obstruct justice.”

Reuters Staff, “White House says pardons for Trump associates not discussed,” Reuters, March 25, 2019 7:38 am

23,148. 3/7/2019

MICHAEL COHEN/PARDONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump’s advisers dangled the possibility of a pardon for his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen last year, Cohen’s attorney said Thursday [3-7-19], as congressional investigators zero in on the president’s pardon power. The issue of pardons has emerged as a key line of inquiry as Democrats launch a series of sweeping investigations into Trump’s political and personal dealings. Lanny Davis, Cohen’s lawyer, said in a written statement Thursday that his client was ‘open to the ongoing ‘dangling’ of a possible pardon by Trump representatives privately and in the media’ in the months after the FBI raided Cohen’s home, office and hotel room in April 2018. Davis, who was not Cohen’s lawyer at the time, said Cohen “directed his attorney” to explore a possible pardon with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others on Trump’s legal team. The statement appears to contradict Cohen’s sworn testimony last week at a House Oversight Committee hearing that he had never asked for, and would not accept, a pardon from Trump.”

Associated Press, “Cohen’s Lawyer Says Trump Advisers Were ‘Dangling’ Pardons,” The New York Times online, March 7, 2019

23,133. 3/7/2019

MICHAEL COHEN/PARDONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Michael Cohen directed his former lawyer to approach President Donald Trump about a pardon, his current attorney confirmed Thursday [3-7-19]. But Lanny Davis said the revelation does not conflict with his client’s congressional testimony in late February in which Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, claimed he never asked for a pardon.  In a statement Thursday, Davis stressed that Cohen’s willingness to explore a pardon ended when Cohen pulled out of a joint defense agreement with the president’s legal team. He said that was when Cohen ‘authorized me as a new lawyer to say publicly Mr. Cohen would never accept a pardon from President Trump even if offered’…Testifying under oath, Cohen told lawmakers on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, ‘I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from President Trump.’”

William Cummings, “Michael Cohen’s attorney said former lawyer sought Trump pardon,” USA Today, March 7, 2019 4:55 pm

18,114. 8/23/2018

PARDONS/PAUL MANAFORT/ROBERT MUELLER/RUDY GIULIANI/RUSSIA INVESTIGATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “While Paul Manafort was on trial for charges of serious financial crimes, President Donald Trump asked his legal team about the prospect of pardoning his former campaign chairman, according to Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer. But Trump ultimately agreed with his legal team to delay the decision until after special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was over, Giuliani told The Washington Post on Thursday [8-23-18]. The acknowledgment that Trump seriously explored such a move contradicts White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ assertion on Wednesday that a pardon for Manafort was ‘not something that has been up for discussion’ — a statement that the president himself countered just hours later, according to Fox News…Giuliani’s comments and the Fox exchange reveal the degree to which Trump has considered inserting himself into Mueller’s criminal inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which netted its first guilty verdicts this week when a jury convicted Manafort on eight counts of bank and tax fraud.”

Kyle Cheney, “Giuliani’s comments add confusion about possible Manafort pardon,” Politico, August 23, 2018 9:27 pm

18,086. 8/23/2018

LEGAL/PARDONS/ROBERT MUELLER/RUDY GIULIANI/RUSSIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Amid a series of high-profile pardons and commutations by President Trump in recent months, his personal lawyers cautioned against even considering clemency for former aides under investigation by the special counsel until the inquiry was over, one of the lawyers, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said on Thursday [8-23-18]. Mr. Trump agreed with their advice, Mr. Giuliani said. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is investigating possible pardon offers to former aides, and Mr. Trump’s current lawyers were privately concerned that debating clemency could open him to accusations of trying to interfere with the investigation, according to two people briefed on the matter. Mr. Giuliani said that he discussed the issue with Mr. Trump in June shortly after he commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, 63, who was serving a life sentence in prison for a nonviolent drug conviction. Her campaign for commutation drew the backing of the reality television star Kim Kardashian West, who met with the president to advocate on Ms. Johnson’s behalf.”

Michael S. Schmidt, “Trump’s Lawyers Urged Him to Postpone Even Considering Pardons in Russia Inquiry,” The New York Times online, August 23, 2018

18,080. 8/22/2018

MEDIA/PARDONS/PAUL MANAFORT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump is not currently looking to pardon Paul Manafort after he was found guilty on eight felony charges, the White House said Wednesday [8-22-18]. But according to a Fox News reporter who asked the president earlier in the day, Trump is indeed considering letting his former campaign chairman off the hook…However, ‘Fox & Friends’ anchor Ainsley Earhardt, after speaking with the president during an interview set to air in full on Thursday, said Trump is weighing the possibility of forgiving Manafort’s bank- and tax-fraud crimes…A Virginia jury on Tuesday [8-21-18] found Manafort guilty on eight of 18 counts related to tax and bank fraud, in the first of two federal trials resulting from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The judge in Alexandria, Virginia, declared a mistrial on the remaining counts after jurors couldn’t reach a consensus. The president earlier this week said that he was not looking to pardon Manafort. However, he has since offered high praise for Manafort — a contrast to when Trump tried to distance himself earlier this year.”

Rebessa Morin and Quint Forgey, “Fox anchor who interviewed Trump: He is looking to pardon Manafort,” Politico, August 22, 2018 10:46 pm

18,079. 8/22/2018

PARDONS/PAUL MANAFORT/ROBERT MUELLER/RUDY GIULIANI/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani have talked about the potential political repercussions of pardoning former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, The New York Times reported Wednesday [8-22-18]. Giuliani told the Times that pardoning Manafort, who on Tuesday was found guilty on eight of 18 financial crimes, was not something the President was considering. However, the paper reported that Giuliani said in an interview that Trump thought Manafort had not been treated well…The trial was the first major test in court for special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Mueller is leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election and whether there was any collusion with Trump’s campaign. However, the initial charges against Manafort were unrelated to the campaign. Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion. Manafort has been in jail since June, and faces additional criminal charges in federal court in Washington. Those charges pertain to alleged failure to register his foreign lobbying as well as an alleged money laundering conspiracy related to his Ukrainian political work.”

Sophie Tatum, “NY Times: Giuliani and Trump discussed potential fallout of a Manafort pardon,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, August 22, 2018 10:44 pm

18,038. 8/22/2018

2016 ELECTION/LEGAL/MICHAEL COHEN/PARDONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WOMEN: “U.S. President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen would not accept a presidential pardon, his attorney said on Wednesday [8-22-18], a day after Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges and said he acted at the direction of Trump. In a round of television interviews, Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, said Trump’s former longtime lawyer wanted no part in what he saw as the president’s abuse of his clemency power. Cohen also questioned Trump’s loyalty to the United States and saw him as unfit to hold office, Davis added…In dramatic testimony on Tuesday [8-21-18], Cohen told a federal court in Manhattan that Trump had directed him to arrange payments ahead of the 2016 presidential election to silence two women who said they had affairs with Trump. He pleaded guilty to charges of tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations. His plea came as former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight charges in his financial fraud trial stemming from the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.”

Reuters Staff, “Trump’s ex-lawyer Cohen would not accept pardon: lawyer,” Reuters, August 22, 2018 6:13 am

17,926. 8/17/2018

PARDONS/PAUL MANAFORT/ROBERT MUELLER/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump refused to say on Friday [8-17-18] whether he would pardon Paul Manafort as a federal jury in Alexandria ended its second day of deliberations without reaching a verdict in Mr. Manafort’s financial fraud trial. The jurors are weighing what prosecutors have called overwhelming evidence that Mr. Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, engaged in a seven-year scheme to hide more than $16 million in income and deceive banks into lending him $20 million. Defense lawyers have suggested that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has unfairly targeted Mr. Manafort, a 69-year-old political consultant, and portrayed oversights and bookkeeping mistakes as blatant acts of fraud. Asked on Friday as he departed the White House whether he would pardon Mr. Manafort if he is convicted, Mr. Trump replied: ‘I don’t talk about that, no. I don’t talk about that.’ Mr. Trump’s former lawyer, John M. Dowd, had broached the prospect of a pardon last year with Mr. Manafort’s former lawyer as the special counsel was building the case against him, raising questions that Mr. Dowd was offering a pardon to influence Mr. Manafort’s decision about whether to cooperate in the inquiry.”

Sharon LaFraniere, “Trump Calls Manafort Trial ‘Sad,’ but Is Quiet on a Possible Pardon,” The New York Times online, August 17, 2018

16,897. 7/10/2018

PARDONS/TRUMP PEOPLE: “President Trump on Tuesday [7-10-18] pardoned a pair of Oregon cattle ranchers who had been serving sentences for arson on federal land — sentences that set off the armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in 2016. Dwight L. Hammond, now 76, and his son, Steven D. Hammond, 49, became a cause célèbre that inspired an antigovernment group’s battle with the federal government over its control of rural land in Oregon. The occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge resulted in the death of a rancher from Arizona. The Hammonds have a long history of conflict with the federal government, but many felt their sentences for the 2001 and 2006 fires were unfair…The pardons will shave some time off the Hammonds’ five-year sentences — Dwight Hammond has served three years and Steven Hammond has served four. But the pardons suggest the Trump administration’s support of ranchers in the battle over federal lands and also undo an Obama administration appeal to impose longer sentences for the Hammonds.”

Eileen Sullivan and Julie Turkewitz, “Trump Pardons Oregon Men Whose Case Sparked Wildlife Refuge Takeover,” The New York Times online, July 10, 2018

16,121. 6/8/2018

PARDONS/SPORTS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump said on Friday [6-8-18] that he is considering pardoning Muhammad Ali, a boxing legend who died two years ago and was convicted of refusing to be drafted during the Vietnam War. But it was not immediately clear what Mr. Trump sought to pardon, as Mr. Ali’s conviction was overturned nearly 50 years ago…Mr. Ali had fought his conviction all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1971 granted him the conscientious-objector status he had sought. Mr. Ali’s attorney, Ron Tweel, said the pardon was not necessary. But he thanked Mr. Trump for the consideration. The president recently pardoned another late boxing legend, Jack Johnson, who was convicted in 1913 for transporting a white woman across state lines. Mr. Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion, served 10 months in a federal prison for his racially-tainted crime. Mr. Trump has been embroiled by the ongoing special counsel investigation into his presidential campaign’s ties with Russia and whether he tried to obstruct justice. In recent weeks, he has drawn positive media coverage by considering how broadly he might exercise what appears to be the president’s unlimited authority to pardon people who have been convicted of federal crimes.”

-Eileen Sullivan, “Trump Says He’s Considering a Pardon for Muhammad Ali,” The New York Times online, June 8, 2018

16,109. 6/8/2018

PARDONS/SPORTS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump said he wants to meet with NFL players and other athletes who kneel during the National Anthem so they can recommend people they think should be pardoned due to unfair treatment by the justice system. In what he seemingly sees a solution, President Donald Trump said he wants NFL players and other athletes who kneeled during the National Anthem. ‘I’m going to ask them to recommend to me people who were unfairly treated,’ Trump said at White House Friday [6-8-18]. Trump’s contentious relationship with the NFL reached a peak last year when he lambasted players who took a knee during the National Anthem to protest institutionalized racism and police brutality. Last year, Trump suggested to NFL owners that they ‘get that son of a bitch off the field right now’ and fire players who don’t stand for the playing of the National Anthem, saying the act is unpatriotic and disrespectful to the US military. Recently, the NFL implemented a new policy that teams could choose to require athletes in their arenas to stand during the playing of the anthem. It also gave players the option of remaining off the field, in the locker rooms, during the playing of the anthem if they choose not to stand for it.”

-Veronica Stracqualursi and Kaitlan Collins, “Trump will ask athletes who kneel during anthem to recommend people for pardoning,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, June 8, 2018 1:50 pm

16,048. 6/7/2018

PARDONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Good luck to Alice Johnson. Have a wonderful life!”

-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, June 7, 2018 7:07 am

16,038. 6/6/2018

PARDONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump commuted the sentence on Wednesday [6-6-18] of a 63-year-old woman serving life in prison for a nonviolent drug conviction after her case was brought to his attention by the reality television star Kim Kardashian West. Although short of a full pardon, the decision will free Alice Marie Johnson, who has been locked up since 1996 on charges related to cocaine possession and money laundering. Ms. Kardashian West, who learned of the case through a video that went viral on social media, visited Mr. Trump at the White House last week to lobby on Ms. Johnson’s behalf…The president’s intervention, however, was contrary to the policies his own Justice Department has enacted since he took office. Attorney General Jeff Sessions last year ordered federal prosecutors to pursue the toughest possible charges and sentences against criminal defendants, reversing President Barack Obama’s efforts to ease penalties in nonviolent drug cases. The arguments advanced on Ms. Johnson’s behalf were essentially the same that were made for thousands of other nonviolent drug convicts whose petitions for presidential clemency have been languishing at the Justice Department without action. While Mr. Obama pardoned 212 people and commuted the sentences of 1,715 prisoners, including 568 serving life sentences, Mr. Trump has acted mainly on a few high-profile cases brought to him by associates and allies.”

-Peter Baker, “Trump Offers Clemency to Imprisoned Woman, Alice Marie Johnson, After Push by Kim Kardashian West,” The New York Times online, June 6, 2018