WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump granted clemency on Tuesday to 11 people who served prison sentences for crimes in high-profile cases ranging from gambling fraud to tax evasion to drug-related charges.
Trump, who has broad clemency powers granted by the Constitution, granted full pardons – a full legal forgiveness for a crime – to seven people and commuted, or shortened, the sentences of four others.
Some cases involved high-profile figures, such as former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik. Others, while not initially generating as much prominence, turned into causes célèbres for activists who considered the sentences unduly harsh.
Tuesday’s clemency blitz means that he has granted 25 pardons and issued 10 commutations during his presidency.
Here’s a closer look at those who received clemency Tuesday:
Kerik, the former New York Police Department commissioner who was hailed alongside then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the response to the 9/11 attacks, was sentenced to four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to felony charges of tax fraud and lying to White House officials while being interviewed to head the Department of Homeland Security. He served three years in federal prison before he was released in 2013.
Edward DeBartolo Jr.
DeBartolo, a former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, was fined $1 million as part of a gambling fraud case in Louisiana in the late 1990s. DeBartolo testified that he paid then Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards $400,000 in exchange for his help in securing a riverboat casino license. DeBartolo pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to report a felony.
Milken, a rogue financier known as the “junk bond king,” pleaded guilty in 1990 to several counts of securities and tax violations. In the announcement of his pardon, the White House described Milken as “one of America’s greatest financiers” and credited his work fighting prostate cancer.
Friedler, the founder and chief-executive officer of an Arlington, Va.,-based software company, pleaded guilty in 2014 and served two months in prison for conspiring to hack into the computer systems of two competitors. Friedler’s company, Symplicity Corp., was a government contractor. Fiedler was forced to sell the company as a result of his guilty plea.
Pogue, the owner of a Texas construction company, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison in 2010 for filing a false federal tax return. Authorities said Pogue underreported his income on his tax returns for three years.
Safavian, former chief of staff of the General Services Administration, was sentenced to a year in prison for lying about his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Safavian was convicted in 2009 for obstruction of justice and making false statements to authorities investigating Abramoff’s activities. Prosecutors said Safavian lied to conceal his efforts to help Abramoff in his dealings with the government.
Stanton is an author and reality TV star who served time in prison for her part in a stolen car ring. She is an avid Trump supporter, an advocate for criminal justice reform and the goddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr.’s politically conservative niece Alveda King. She has spoken at the 2018 Women for Trump Conference and frequently posts pro-Trump messages on her Twitter account.
The former Illinois governor was serving a 14-year prison sentence on federal charges that he used his powers as governor to extract campaign money and other favors from potential contenders for the Illinois Senate seat left open when Barack Obama became president. Trump had previously asserted that Blagojevich, a Democrat who appeared as a guest on the president’s television program “Celebrity Apprentice,” was treated “very, very unfairly.”
Tynice Nichole Hall
Hall of Texas served nearly 14 years of an 18-year sentence for allowing her apartment to be used to distribute drugs.
Munoz, of Odessa, Texas, spent the past 12 years in prison after she was convicted for her role in a marijuana smuggling ring. Munoz admitted to drawing a map for a friend that showed checkpoints along the border of Mexico. Munoz said she didn’t realize the map would be used for drug smuggling, but she was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Negron, the owner of a Miami-area mental health company, was sentenced in 2011 to 35 years in prison for orchestrating a $205 million Medicare fraud scheme. She has served eight years of her sentence.