Here’s the latest from Trumpland:
POTUS announces that in addition to commuting Blagojevich’s sentence, he has pardoned Bernie Kerik, who pleaded guilty to 8 charges that included tax fraud and lying to WH officials.https://t.co/nQGmwsm7uU
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 18, 2020
Trump also pardoned Edward DeBartolo, a former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, and maybe Michael Milken too. Trump was a little vague about that.
I have no special opinion about whether any of these people deserve a pardon—though Kerik sure as hell seems an unlikely choice. What I do object to is the random pardoning of well-known people who happen to catch Trump’s eye. There are lots and lots of ordinary schlubs who deserve a pardon every bit as much as these more famous folks, but they’ll never get one.
UPDATE: Yes, Mike Milken got a pardon.
Additionally, Trump issued full pardons to Ariel Friedler, Paul Pogue, David Safavian and Angela Stanton. And he commuted sentences for three others: Tynice Nicole Hall, Crystal Munoz and Judith Negron.
Ariel Friedler hacked into his competitors’ computers. Paul Pogue filed false income tax statements. David Safavian is a Republican lawyer who was convicted of perjury in connection with the Abramoff corruption scandal. Angela Stanton “spent time in Georgia prisons for things like felony embezzlement, theft and fraud” but since her release in 2005 has become a best-selling author and the creator of Reclaim It Albany.
Tynice Nicole Hall was convicted of conspiracy and drug offenses involving powder and crack cocaine because her boyfriend sold drugs out of her house. Crystal Munoz was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 1000 kilograms of marijuana. Judith Negron received a 35-year sentence as part of a Medicare fraud racket.