Published: Thu, May 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump pardons convicted fraudster Conrad Black

Trump pardons convicted fraudster Conrad Black

President Trump pardoned Conrad Black, a 74-year-old Canadian-born British former media baron who is a longtime friend and onetime business partner, on Wednesday. Hollinger International was one of the biggest newspaper publishers in the world, and included such publications as the Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Jerusalem Post and the National Post (Canada).

Lord Black of Crossharbour, former proprietor of the Daily Telegraph and a number of other world newspapers, served more than three years in prison after being convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice in 2007.

Shortly after the pardon was announced, Canada's National Post published an article from Black in which he continued to take issue with his conviction and said he was "at last, officially not guilty even in the conviction-mad United States".

A year ago he published a book entitled Donald J Trump: A President Like No Other.

Trump has pardoned seven individuals throughout the first two-and-a half years of his presidency prior to Black and Nolan, according to the Department of Justice.

In an essay Wednesday night in National Post, a Canadian newspaper he founded, Black described getting a phone call from the White House he initially thought was a prank.

A statement from the White House said the case "attracted broad support from many high-profile individuals who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character".

"My long ordeal with the USA justice system was never anything but a confluence of unlucky events, the belligerence of several corporate governance charlatans, and grandstanding local and American judges, all fanned by an unusually frenzied worldwide media showing exceptional interest in the case because I was a media owner", he wrote.

Two of his three fraud convictions were later scrapped and his sentence shortened. She notes that Black is the author of biographies on presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, though she does not mention the Trump biography.

Trump has used his power of pardon before this and critics say he does it for people who back him or his ideas.

"We've known each other a long time", Black recalled Trump telling him, "but that wasn't any part of the reason".

Earlier this month, Trump pardoned Michael Behenna, a former soldier who had been sentenced to 25 years in prison for unpremeditated murder in a combat zone by a military court.

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