One of the many executive powers enjoyed by the president is that of clemency, or pardon — and Donald Trump has on several occasions used that power to make right what were unjustifiable wrongs.
The latest beneficiary of President Trump’s pardon power is Canadian-born businessman Lord Conrad Black, who in 2007 was convicted on what many viewed as manufactured charges of mail fraud and obstruction of justice.
He ultimately served more than three years in jail prior to being deported and banned from returning to the United States for 30 years.
Executive clemency for Conrad Black
A statement from the White House on the full clemency extended to Black noted, “In 2007, prosecutors alleged that Lord Black had committed several acts of mail fraud and obstruction. The Supreme Court of the United States, however, largely disagreed and overturned almost all charges in his case. He nevertheless spent 3.5 years in prison.”
The statement continued: “An entrepreneur and scholar, Lord Black has made tremendous contributions to business, as well as to political and historical thought. Formerly the owner of the world’s then-third largest newspaper (the United Kingdom’s Daily Telegraph), he is also the author of several notable biographies and works of history.”
The White House added: “Lord Black’s case has attracted broad support from many high-profile individuals who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character. This impressive list includes former Secretary of State Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Sir Elton John, Rush Limbaugh, the late William F. Buckley, Jr., and many additional notable individuals.”
Thought pardon was a “prank”
In an essay published by Canada’s National Post, Lord Black himself wrote of the moment he received the phone call from the president — he initially thought it was a prank by friends — which informed him of the pardon he had received.
Black wrote of his case and how a mere clerical error by a secretary had been spun by the media into a massive controversy that ultimately resulted in the destruction of his life’s work as well as his Chicago-based businesses and media empire.
He further noted how certain politically-ambitious judges and prosecutors had railroaded him despite of his supposed presumption of innocence and rulings to the contrary from higher courts and discussed how he spent his time in prison tutoring other inmates to improve their level of education.
Upon his release from prison in 2012, Black was deported directly to Canada, where he has remained ever since, claiming to be a victim of an “evil” American justice system that destroyed his life over what he viewed as a “smear job.”
“For my friends, no explanation was ever necessary; for my enemies, none would ever have sufficed,” Black wrote.
Courting the left’s ire
The Washington Examiner reported that Black and Trump had been friends for quite some time and were even business partners temporarily during the construction of Trump Tower in Chicago.
Coincidentally, Black also recently published a book that offered a positive review of Trump’s presidency.
The anti-Trump left will likely gripe about the pardon extended to Black and assume the worst sort of motivations behind it, but by all appearances, it looks like once again this president has appropriately utilized his clemency power to correct a blatant injustice.