Pardons and commutations: Who did Trump grant clemency to today?
By Derrick Bryson Taylor, Heather Murphy and Heather Murphy
The New York Times|
Feb 18, 2020 | 6:53 PM
President Donald Trump pardoned seven people Tuesday, including financier Michael Milken and Bernard Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner, and commuted the sentences of four others, among them Rod Blagojevich, a former governor of Illinois.
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2011 for trying to sell or trade the Senate seat that Barack Obama was vacating to the highest bidder. “He served eight years in jail, a long time,” Trump said of Blagojevich, a Democrat, on Tuesday. “He seems like a very nice person, don’t know him.”
In 2010, while Blagojevich was awaiting trial, he was a contestant on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” a reality series hosted by Trump. Blagojevich was fired at the end of the fourth episode of the season.
Edward DeBartolo Jr. — Pardon
Edward DeBartolo Jr., a former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, pleaded guilty in 1998 to concealing an extortion attempt. He was prosecuted after agreeing to pay $400,000 to Edwin W. Edwards, a former governor of Louisiana, to secure a riverboat gambling license for his gambling consortium. Although DeBartolo avoided prison time, he was fined $1 million and was suspended for a year by the NFL.
Ariel Friedler — Pardon
Ariel Friedler, a tech entrepreneur whose product served millions of students, pleaded guilty in 2014 to conspiracy to access a protected computer without authorization and served two months in prison, according to a statement from the White House. Friedler has since dedicated his time to promoting veterans issues and helping former prisoners re-enter society, the statement said.
Tynice Nichole Hall — Commutation
Tynice Nichole Hall, 36, was sentenced in 2006 after she was convicted on various drug charges in Lubbock, Texas, according to the Justice Department. The evidence at trial showed that Hall’s residence was used as a stash house for drugs by her boyfriend, who was the main target of an investigation, according to court documents. Police found large quantities of crack and powder cocaine and loaded firearms in her apartment.
Hall has spent the past 14 years in prison where she has participated in apprenticeships, completed coursework toward a college degree and taught educational programs to other inmates while in prison, the White House statement said.
Bernard Kerik — Pardon
Ten years ago this month, Bernard Kerik, a former New York police commissioner, was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to eight felony charges, including tax fraud and lying to White House officials. Kerik, who rose the ranks of power and national prominence, took responsibility for his actions. “Believe me when I say I have learned from this and I have become and will continue to become a better person,” he said in court in 2010. “I know I must be punished.” Since his conviction, Kerik has become an supporter for criminal justice and prison re-entry reform, according to a statement from the White House.
Michael Milken — Pardon
Michael Milken was a well-known financier on Wall Street in the 1980s. Milken was charged with playing a central role in a large insider-trading scheme. In April 1990, he pleaded guilty to six felony charges of securities fraud and conspiracy and months later was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Milken was also the inspiration for the Gordon Gekko character in the film “Wall Street.” Since he was released from prison in 1993, Milken has striven to repair his reputation by creating a nonprofit think tank, the Milken Institute, devoted to initiatives “that advance prosperity.”
Crystal Munoz — Commutation
Crystal Munoz was found guilty of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute marijuana in 2008, according to a petition filed by Texas A&M University’s Criminal Defense Clinic. Munoz was sentenced to nearly two decades in prison for drawing a map of a road, a map her friends used in a large marijuana trafficking operation, according to Rolling Stone. Over the past 12 years, Munoz has mentored people and volunteered with a hospice program while serving time in prison, according to the White House statement.
Judith Negron — Commutation
Judith Negron, 48, was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2011 for her role in orchestrating a $205 million Medicare fraud scheme as the owner of a mental health care company in Miami. Negron, a wife and a mother, has served eight years in prison, and her prison warden described her as a “model inmate,” according to the White House statement.
Paul Pogue — Pardon
Trump granted Paul Pogue, the founder and former chief executive officer of a large construction company in Texas, a full pardon. In 2010, he was sentenced to three years of probation and charged several hundreds thousand dollars in fines for filing false income tax statements, according to the McKinney Courier Gazette.
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The White House applauded his charitable work in a statement Tuesday. “Despite his conviction, Mr. Pogue never stopped his charitable work,” the statement said.
David Safavian — Pardon
David Safavian, the top federal procurement official under President George W. Bush, was sentenced to a year in prison in 2009 for covering up his ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Safavian, a former chief of staff at the General Services Administration, was convicted of both obstruction of justice and making false statements. “Having served time in prison and completed the process of rejoining society with a felony conviction, Safavian is uniquely positioned to identify problems with the criminal justice system and work to fix them,” the White House said in a statement Tuesday.
Angela Stanton — Pardon
Angela Stanton, an author, television personality and motivational speaker has received a full pardon. Her book “Lies of a Real Housewife: Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil” explores her difficult upbringing and her encounters with reality TV stars. Recently she has begun giving interviews about her support of Trump. Stanton served six months of home confinement in 2007 for her role in a stolen vehicle ring. The White House credited her in a statement with working “tirelessly to improve re-entry outcomes for people returning to their communities upon release from prison.”