Trump grants full pardon to former media baron Conrad Black

Evarado Alatorre
May 16, 2019

President Donald Trump has issued a full pardon for Conrad Black, a former media mogul who was convicted on counts of wire fraud and obstruction of justice and who also wrote a biography that praised the president past year.

Black once ran a newspaper conglomerate that published papers including The Daily Telegraph in London, the Chicago Sun-Times and The Jerusalem Post.

In 2007, Black was convicted of three counts of fraud and one of obstruction of justice in a Chicago court and sentenced to six and a half years in jail - more than twice the sentence handed to David Radler, his longtime partner who agreed to testify for the prosecution.

However, the pressure from shareholders would ultimately lead to a probe by an internal committee of directors, followed by investigations of Black's businesses by the U.S. Securities Commission and the Department of Justice, which culminated in criminal charges of fraud and obstruction of justice against him.

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The White House statement on the pardon touted Black's "tremendous contributions to business". At the fractious meeting, Trump told the assembled investors: "I fully support the company and its management, and in particular I have great respect for Conrad Black".

In 2015, Black wrote a National Review essay titled "Trump Is the Good Guy".

Trump, who was by then already a celebrity of sorts, attended the meeting even though he did not own any Hollinger shares, Black's trial heard from the company's former head of investor relations Paul Healy. "These include comprehensive biographies of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard M. Nixon, a complete history of Canada, and an impressive essay evaluating how the world would have been different had Japan not attacked Pearl Harbor" the statement continued.

Other pardons have included Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former Vice-President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, who was convicted of lying about leaks to the media, and Jack Johnson, boxing's first black heavyweight champ, convicted in 1913 of taking his white girlfriend across state lines. Nolan has been a vocal advocate for criminal justice reform since he spent more than two years in federal prison during the 1990s. While incarcerated, he also helped organize religious-study groups and he is "uniformly described as a man of principle and integrity", she said.

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