Former NYPD Commissioner ‘Emotional and Stunned’ After Trump Pardoning

Among those granted clemency were financier Michael Milken former police commissioner Bernard Kerik former owner of the San Francisco 49ers Edward De Bartolo Jr and former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich

'I'm profoundly grateful to President Trump and it's a profound and everlasting gratitude, ' Blagojevich said.

© Katie Foody/AP A large banner reading, "Thanks Mr. President", adorns the porch of the home of former Ill.

AsThe Daily Beastreportedlate Tuesday, several of the people Trump granted clemency are "eitherFox Newsregulars or have been championed by the president's favorite cable-news network".

"There's probably someone in the same prison system as Rod Blagojevich who's also got a wife and who's also got children, but he doesn't have the benefit of being a celebrity on Fox News", Grant said on Chicago radio station WGN.

Mueller was FBI director when her husband was arrested, and former FBI Director James Comey, another Trump foe, is friends with a former United States attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald, who prosecuted Blagojevich.

Blagojevich served eight years of his 14-year prison sentence.

But Trump's critics say he has gone further in the way he has politicised clemency.

Blagojevich, who was convicted of 17 public corruption charges in 2010 and 2011, including trying to solicit money in exchange for an appointment to former President Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat after he won election in 2008.

"In a state where corrupt, machine-style politics is still all too common, it's important that those found guilty serve their prison sentence in its entirety", said the chairman of the Illinois GOP, Tim Schneider. 'That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence in my opinion and in the opinion of many others, ' he said. He pointed out that in 2018 Trump commuted the sentence of Alice Johnson, who had been imprisoned for 21 years due to her involvement with a cocaine trafficking group in Tennessee.

Among those granted clemency were financier Michael Milken former police commissioner Bernard Kerik former owner of the San Francisco 49ers Edward De Bartolo Jr and former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich
Former NYPD Commissioner ‘Emotional and Stunned’ After Trump Pardoning

Those more critical of the pardons framed his decisions as impulsive, isolated from the long-standing Justice Department procedure for considering pardons, and aimed largely at white-collar criminals whose relatives or representatives were able to lobby for relief on Fox News.

In 2015, five of those counts were thrown out in appellate courts, although his 14-year sentence was reimposed months later.

Mr Trump confirmed the pardons on an air base tarmac as he left Washington for a West Coast visit. "I think he's treated unfairly".

In Illinois, Democratic governor JB Pritzker said in a statement Mr Trump had "abused his pardon power in inexplicable ways to reward his friends and condone corruption, and I deeply believe this pardon sends the wrong message at the wrong time".

The clemency orders that the president issued [Tuesday] to celebrity felons like [Bernie] Kerik, Rod R. Blagojevich and Michael R. Milken came about through a typically Trumpian process, an ad hoc scramble that bypassed the formal procedures used by past presidents and was driven instead by friendship, fame, personal empathy and a shared sense of persecution.

Numerous pardons announced Tuesday were advocated by friends of the president, including Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate, Tom Barrack, a longtime Trump confidant, and Fox News personality Maria Bartiromo.

On Trump's favourite news channel Fox News previous year, Blagojevich's wife, Patti, depicted her husband as the victim of over-zealous prosecutors, drawing parallels with the president's experience during the Mueller investigation. The White House announced Tuesday that Trump had signed an executive order pardoning former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. and later Tuesday, Trump said he would pardon NY police commissioner Bernie Kerik.

Jay Young, executive director of Common Cause Illinois, said in astatementthat by commuting Blagojevich's sentence, "Trump once again swims in the swamp he promised to drain".

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