Published: Thu, May 16, 2019

Trump grants full pardon to ex-press baron Conrad Black

Trump grants full pardon to ex-press baron Conrad Black

President Donald Trump has signed a full pardon for former media mogul Conrad Black, convicted in 2007 of fraud and obstruction of justice.

Black's media empire once included the Chicago Sun-Times and The Daily Telegraph of London.

Black, 74, was convicted of fraud and obstructing justice in 2007 and jailed for more than three years in the US.

Black, a prolific writer and historian in his own right, vehemently maintained his innocence and launched a series of libel lawsuits in Canada to strike back at the detractors he blames for destroying his once vast empire.

A statement from the White House on Wednesday said Black has made "tremendous contributions to business, as well as to political and historical thought".

In the book, Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other, Black wrote that Trump is "a good deal more ethical and honest than many other businessmen and corporate directors I have known".

In 2017, he pardoned ex-Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted of criminal contempt, after he defied a court order to stop traffic patrols targeting suspected immigrants.

"My long ordeal with the USA justice system was never anything but a confluence of unlucky events, the belligerence of several corporate governance charlatans, and grandstanding local and American judges", Black wrote. It named Sir Elton John and former U.S. secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, as among his supporters.

Examples of his work cited by the White House include biographies of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.

It goes on to describe how Nolan ended up advocating for criminal justice reform, specifically the "Prison Rape Elimination Act", the "Second Chance Act", the "Fair Sentencing Act", and the "FIRST Step Act".

President Donald Trump used his power of pardon to clear Conrad Black. But it was Trump on the line, apparently telling Black that the full pardon would "expunge the bad wrap" he got.

In an article published by the National Post on Wednesday, he said that Trump told him in a phone call that the "supportive things" that Black had written about the president were not part of the reasoning for the pardon.

A day earlier, Black had a piece in the conservative National Review.

"If you were able to put in a cameo appearance and say a supporting word, I'm sure it would have an impact on the group and be favourably noted in the press", Black wrote. Its headline: "Smooth Sailing Ahead for Trump".

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