President Donald Trump issued nearly a dozen pardons and commutations on Tuesday, with many going to rich supporters convicted of corruption.
Trump issued full pardons to former San Franciso 49ers owner Ed DeBartolo, financier Michael Milken, former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik, business owner Paul Pogue, and former Jack Abramoff-linked lobbyist David Safavian. He also commuted the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Blagojevich was convicted of numerous corruption charges and sentenced to 14 years in prison after he tried to sell former President Obama’s vacated Senate seat in 2008 and extorted a children’s hospital, among other charges.
The pardon came after Blagojevich’s wife repeatedly went on Fox News to liken her husband’s prosecution to the Mueller probe, which Trump has referred to as a “witch hunt.”
Trump also pardoned Giuliani pal:
Trump also pardoned Kerik, who was convicted of tax fraud and lying to government officials after he was tapped by President George W. Bush to be the secretary of Homeland Security.
Trump also pardoned Michael Milken, the “former junk bond king who became a face of the insider trading financial scandals of the 1980s,” days after a longtime associate held a $10 million fundraiser for Trump.
The pardons also included DeBartolo, who was convicted of paying a $400,000 bribe to Louisiana’s governor to secure a casino license, and Safavian, a former Bush appointee convicted in the Abramoff lobbying scandal.
Did fundraiser lead to pardon?
Pogue’s pardon drew scrutiny after The Daily Beast reported that his family donated over $200,000 to Trump’s reelection campaign.
The family had donated to other Republicans in the past but at nowhere near the level they contributed to Trump.