President Trump Grants Pardon to Conrad Black

Posted Thursday, 16 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday granted a full pardon to Conrad M. Black, the former press baron and onetime society fixture who was found guilty of fraud and obstruction of justice in 2007.
The pardon of Mr. Black, a political ally and longtime associate of Mr. Trump’s, was the latest example of the president using one of the unilateral powers of his office to absolve a high-profile public figure whose case resonates with him personally, bucking the more traditional practice of sifting through thousands of pardon applications awaiting his review.
In 2017, Mr. Trump granted a pardon to Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff and another close political ally whose aggressive efforts to detain undocumented immigrants earned him a criminal contempt conviction.
Last year, the president pardoned Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative commentator convicted of campaign finance violations.
And this month, he granted the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor whose recipients are decided by the president alone, to Tiger Woods, the golfer who is also a longtime friend and business partner.
His pardon of Mr. Black, a personal friend and the author of pro-Trump opinion pieces as well as a flattering book, “Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other,” is his first since the release of the special counsel’s report, which did not come to any conclusion on whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice. It comes as Mr. Trump has continued to vent publicly about being the target of what he views as an unjust “witch hunt.”
Mr. Black, who was born in Canada and is also known as Lord Black of Crossharbour, was charged with swindling his company, Hollinger International, of $60 million. He was sentenced to a prison term of six and a half years but was released after serving just over two years. After a federal judge ruled that Mr. Black had not served enough time, he returned for about a year.
In a statement, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, noted that the Supreme Court “largely disagreed” with the prosecutors who put Mr. Black in jail, and “overturned almost all charges in the case.” She added, “He nevertheless spent 3.5 years in prison.”
Ms. Sanders described Mr. Black, who once owned The Chicago Sun-Times, The Jerusalem Post and The Daily Telegraph in London, as “an entrepreneur and scholar” who “has made tremendous contributions to business, as well as to political and historical thought.” She also cited support for Mr. Black from Henry A. Kissinger, the former secretary of state; Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio host and a frequent golf partner of the president’s; and the musician Elton John.
Mr. Black, an outsize character in the vein of the president, has a long history with him. During Mr. Black’s 2007 trial, Mr. Trump was expected to be called as a witness to bolster Mr. Black’s defense. He was expected to fly to Chicago and testify that a lavish $62,000 surprise party Mr. Black threw for his wife at the restaurant La Grenouille in New York — the bulk of which he charged to his company — was a business event, not a social event.
He was expected to say that he was negotiating a possible joint venture with Mr. Black’s company to turn the headquarters of The Sun-Times into a hotel and residential tower.
But Mr. Black’s defense lawyers decided at the last minute not to have Mr. Trump testify.
A day before his pardon was announced, Mr. Black published an opinion piece in National Review titled “Smooth Sailing Ahead for Trump.” Mr. Trump was “the only serious businessman to hold the office,” Mr. Black wrote, asserting that Mr. Trump would have “a stronger argument for reelection next year than any president since Richard Nixon in 1972.”
On Tuesday night, Mr. Black posted an essay explaining that when the president called him last week, he believed it was a prank.
Mr. Black wrote that Mr. Trump addressed him as “the great Lord Black” and said he was pardoning him to “expunge the bad wrap you got.” He said that Mr. Trump and the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, who was in the room with the president, agreed that he could say publicly that the pardon was being granted because Mr. Trump believed that his verdict was unjust.
“We’ve known each other a long time,” Mr. Trump said, according to Mr. Black. “But that wasn’t any part of the reason. Nor has any of the supportive things you’ve said and written about me.”

Tag: #Amnesties,CommutationsAndPardons #Black,ConradM #Trump,DonaldJ #UnitedStatesPoliticsAndGovernment #FraudsAndSwindling #HollingerInc

Other articles published by The New York Times

Posted Thursday, 23 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Senate lawmakers on Thursday announced they had reached agreement on a long-delayed disaster relief package, ending a monthslong impasse over billions of dollars in aid for farmers and communities struggling to recover from an onslaught of ...

Posted Thursday, 23 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

Subway workers began raising alarms in recent months: Emergency brakes on New York City subway trains were being deliberately pulled, acts of apparent sabotage that were setting off major delays on the sprawling system. There were clues. A man spotted...

Posted Thursday, 23 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump is considering deploying additional troops to the Middle East to provide protection for American military personnel already there, the acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, said Thursday. Mr. Shanahan did not specify...

Posted Thursday, 23 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

Last year, a federal jury in Washington convicted Nicholas Slatten, a former security contractor, of first-degree murder for his role in killing one of 14 Iraqi civilians who died in 2007 in a shooting that also injured more than a dozen others. Matthew...

Posted Thursday, 23 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that House Democrats were “not on a path to impeachment,” even as she accused President Trump of trying to whip her caucus into a distracting political battle by stonewalling congressional...

Posted Thursday, 23 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The United States and China are digging in for a prolonged trade war, with the Trump administration unveiling a new $16 billion bailout for farmers hurt by Beijing’s tariffs on Thursday and more companies saying they are redirecting...

Posted Thursday, 23 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

A judge in Chicago on Thursday unsealed Jussie Smollett’s court records after media organizations asked that documents related to the “Empire” actor’s arrest be made publicly accessible. The decision to unseal the case could allow public access...

Posted Thursday, 23 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

A band of strong thunderstorms storms sweeping across the Plains and Midwest spawned a wave of tornadoes, including one that did substantial damage in Missouri’s capital city and others that left at least three people dead. Here’s what you can do to...

Posted Thursday, 23 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

It was a sleepy Tuesday in Santa Barbara, just before the new year, when a bunch of people who were once on a popular reality show swept into town. Their first stop was a winery nearby. They walked in, and then they walked out, and then...

Posted Thursday, 23 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

When Senator Bernie Sanders delivered a wide-ranging speech on education Saturday, he became the first major Democratic candidate to propose a detailed plan to racially integrate schools, calling for $1 billion in funding to support local integration...

Posted Thursday, 23 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

VARANASI, India — It was 4 a.m. at the Yadav family home down a narrow lane in Varanasi, the constituency of the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi. Vijay Yadav, 30, cut buns and toasted them one by one on a gas stove with the help of his mother,...

Posted Thursday, 23 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

[Follow live coverage of the tornadoes that killed at least three people in Missouri.] A violent tornado tore through the Missouri capital overnight on Wednesday, and as morning dawned, the extent of the damage was becoming...

Posted Thursday, 23 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

John Walker Lindh, known widely as the “American Taliban,” has been released from prison in Terre Haute, Ind., according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Mr. Lindh was freed on probation after serving 17 years of a 20-year sentence for providing...

Posted Thursday, 23 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

Before dawn on Feb. 26, Narendra Modi, the Hindu nationalist prime minister of India, ordered an aerial attack on the country’s nuclear-armed neighbor, Pakistan. There were thick clouds that morning over the border. But Mr. Modi claimed earlier this...

Posted Thursday, 23 May 2019 ‐ The New York Times

Jay Fielden is leaving his position as Esquire’s editor in chief, a job he held for three years, Hearst Magazines announced Thursday. The change at the venerable men’s publication, which started in 1933, is part of a reshuffling under Troy Young, who ...