Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Muhammad Ali's lawyer responds to Trump: 'A pardon is unnecessary'

Muhammad Ali's lawyer responds to Trump: 'A pardon is unnecessary'

President Donald Trump says he may pardon deceased boxing great Muhammad Ali, who was convicted in 1967 for draft evasion.

A pardon of Ali would be purely symbolic: The Supreme Court overturned the conviction in a unanimous decision in 1971.

Talking today to a gaggle on the White House lawn as he headed to the G-7 summit, Trump said "I'm thinking about Muhammad Ali", on that list of around 30 possible presidential pardons he's prepared. "I am thinking about Muhammad Ali", said Trump, adding that he was "looking at literally thousands of names" in regards to potential pardons from his administration. "They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn't put no dogs on me, they didn't rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father". He regained the boxing title in 1974.

Earlier this week Trump pardoned Alice Johnson, a woman serving a life sentence for a non-violent drug offense.

Muhammad Ali, who passed away in 2016, was one of the most influential and inspiring American historical figures of the twentieth century.


As for Trump, this isn't the first time he's thinking of pardoning a boxer-he recently granted Jack Johnson, the first black American heavyweight champion that honor. That law made it illegal to transport women across state lines for "immoral" purposes. "The power to pardon is a attractive thing". "I have an absolute right to pardon myself", he said, but doesn't need to do that because he did nothing wrong.

Last year, the president commuted the sentence of an Iowa kosher meatpacking executive who had been sentenced to 27 years in prison for money laundering.

President Trump's reported obsession with his pardoning power shows no sign of letting up.

Trump said Friday that he is considering 3,000 people for pardons.

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