Every Pardon Donald Trump Has Granted, Including 1 That Kim Kardashian West Encouraged
The president has a lot of power, including the ability to grant pardons. Not surprisingly, this is a power Donald Trump loves to exercise, and he’s flexed his pardoning muscles several times since taking office in 2017.
However, many people have questioned Trump’s motives in certain situations. According to USA Today, “The pardon power is one of the most sweeping powers the president has under the Constitution. But Trump’s pardons are raising new questions about its purpose and limits.”
Interested in learning more? Then read on to discover every pardon Trump has granted so far (as of June 7, 2018), including one encouraged by Kim Kardashian West (page 6), along with why people are calling his judgment into question (page 7).
- Date of pardon: August 25, 2017
- Crime: Contempt of court
From 1993 to 2017, Joe Arpaio served as the sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona. And over the course of his career, Arpaio earned himself quite the unfavorable reputation. Most notably, he took a firm stance against illegal immigration and had countless lawsuits brought against him.
Without a doubt, Arpaio’s legacy will be nothing more than “an effort the Justice Department called one of the worst examples of racial profiling it had ever seen,” The New York Times reports. Yet, Trump granted him a pardon on August 25, 2017.
Next: This sailor had Trump on his side from the beginning.
- Date of pardon: March 9, 2018
- Crime: Unauthorized retention of defense information
When it comes to former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier’s crime, you can’t help but shake your head. And here’s why: In 2009, Saucier took pictures of classified areas while serving on the U.S.S. Alexandria, a nuclear-powered attack submarine. Then, in March 2012, a supervisor found the photos on his phone. Officials arrested Saucier in 2015 and a judge sentenced him to one year in prison.
It’s also worth mentioning that Saucier repeatedly drew comparisons between his case and Hillary Clinton’s email controversy — a bogus argument that happened to pique Trump’s interest, as well. And the line of reasoning? According to Saucier, Clinton received leniency while he’d been treated unfairly. That said, Trump was thrilled to pardon Saucier, and he still brings the comparison up to this day.
Next: A former president commuted this government employee before Trump pardoned him.
Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby
- Date of pardon: April 13, 2018
- Crime: Obstruction of justice, making false statements, and two counts of perjury
Lewis “Scooter” Libby served as a top aide to then-Vice President Dick Cheney. But his time at the White House eventually came to a screeching halt. In October 2005, a grand jury indicted Libby for his role in a CIA scandal in which a CIA officer’s identity was leaked. A judge sentenced Libby to 30 months in prison on June 14, 2007, but George W. Bush commuted his sentence in July 2007. Years later, President Trump granted Libby a full pardon on April 13, 2018.
Furthermore, the difference between the two actions is worth noting. “While a pardon removes all consequences of a conviction, a commutation is a narrower grant of mercy used to shorten a prison sentence while leaving the conviction intact,” USA Today explains.
Next: A celebrity was this man’s biggest advocate.
Jack Johnson (posthumously)
- Date of pardon: May 24, 2018
- Crime: Violation of the White Slave Traffic Act
Jack Johnson was the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion, but that’s not why he was deserving of a pardon. In 1913, an all-white jury convicted Johnson for taking his white girlfriend across state lines. According to CNN,
He was convicted under the Mann Act, a law that was meant to prevent human trafficking and protect women against prostitution, but its critics say the law was used in racially motivated prosecutions of African-Americans and to punish political dissidents.
For years, plenty of people have advocated for Johnson’s pardon, and Trump finally made it happen. For the record, it did take a celebrity, Sylvester Stallone, to convince Trump. But hey, at least he did it. (Stay tuned to learn more about the influence celebrities have over Trump on page 7.)
Next: Trump believed this man was treated unfairly.
- Date of pardon: May 31, 2018
- Crime: Campaign contribution fraud
Dinesh D’Souza is a best-selling author, film producer, and outspoken critic of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. That’s important because it shows D’Souza and Trump are clearly aligned politically. So, what was D’Souza’s crime? In 2014, he made $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions to republican Wendy Long, who unsuccessfully ran for New York Senate in 2012 and 2016.
Trump granted D’Souza a full pardon on May 31, 2018. According to a statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, “Mr. D’Souza was, in the President’s opinion, a victim of selective prosecution for violations of campaign finance laws.”
Next: Here’s where Kardashian West comes in.
- Date of sentence commutation: June 6, 2018
- Crime: Attempted possession of cocaine, conspiracy to possess cocaine, and money laundering
On May 30, 2018, Kardashian West paid a visit to the Oval Office. And it was unexpected, at least in the eyes of the public. After all, what could the reality star possibly have to do with politics? Turns out, she played a major role in one woman’s release from prison.
In 1996, Alice Johnson was sentenced to life in prison for her involvement in a drug conspiracy. She’d been struggling financially and became involved out of desperation. It was her first offense, and her story piqued Kardashian West’s interest.
So, the reality star met with Trump to advocate for Johnson’s release. Shortly after the meeting — and after Johnson had spent 21 years in prison — Trump commuted Johnson’s sentence.
Next: Will this be a slippery slope?
What Trump’s pardoning pattern says
- Trump’s pardons fall into two categories
- His pattern proves he may grant pardons based on personal reasons rather than unbiased ones
Remember that part about Trump’s pardons raising some questions? Well, here are the details on that. According to CNN, Trump’s pattern thus far is rather unnerving, and it’s because everyone he’s pardoned is either a perceived victim of a corrupt “deep state” or a celebrity’s pet cause.
Regarding the former, this group is made up of people Trump believes “were being unfairly treated by a bureaucracy that simply disagreed with their ideas,” CNN writes. As for the latter group? Well, everyone knows how much Trump likes famous people. Case in point: Kardashian West and Stallone. That’s not to say Alice Johnson and Jack Johnson weren’t deserving of pardons, but it does show just how much influence celebrities have over the president (considering Trump had probably never heard of either before his famous friends got involved). And that’s a bit scary.
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