President Trump took to social media on Thursday to announce that he would be pardoning conservative political commentator and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza.
“Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today,” Trump tweeted. “He was treated very unfairly by our government!”
Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
According to a report from ABC News, Trump is considering commuting the sentence of ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and pardoning Martha Stewart.
Here’s more per Chicago Tribune:
Trump tells reporters that Blagojevich said something dumb but that “lots of politicians” do and thinks his sentence is excessive.
The Democratic former governor began serving his 14-year prison sentence on corruption convictions in 2012. His scheduled release date is 2024. Blagojevich was also a contestant on Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” reality television show in 2010.
Stewart was convicted in 2004 of obstructing justice and lying to the government about why she unloaded stock just before the price plummeted.
And, from Variety:
Stewart was the host of a spinoff of “The Apprentice” in 2005, and Blagojevich appeared as a contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice” before he began his sentence.
Blagojevich was removed from office in 2009. Two years later, he was convicted on multiple charges of corruption, including attempting to “sell” the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama when he became president. He is serving a 14-year sentence. He appeared on “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2010, but was fired after four episodes.
Reporters aboard Air Force One said Trump made the comment hours after tweeting the D’Souza would be pardoned:
NEW: Trump, on AF1, says he’s considering pardoning/commuting the sentence of former IL Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who appeared on Celebrity Apprentice, and @MarthaStewart.
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) May 31, 2018
— Kevin Corke (@kevincorke) May 31, 2018
Hours after announcing he will pardon Dinesh D’Souza, Trump told reporters during the flight to Texas that he is considering pardoning or commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Martha Stewart.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 31, 2018
The Apprentice: Pardons Edition. @realDonaldTrump says he is -considering- commuting sentence of frm IL Gov Rod Blagojevich who was a Celebrity Apprentice contestant & possible pardon for @MarthaStewart who hosted a spin-off of The Apprentice
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) May 31, 2018
Consideration for the pardons (D’Souza and Stewart) comes a day after pop culture icon Kim Kardashian visited the White House where she reportedly discussed prison reform and changes to sentencing for non-violent crimes.
Per Vanity Fair:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
After months of back-channel talks between Kim Kardashian and Jared Kushner, the high priestess of reality television is coming to the White House. By late afternoon on Wednesday, Secret Service agents will wave Kardashian and her attorney through the southwest appointment gate to the West Wing, where they will meet Kushner to discuss prison reform before he walks with them to sit down with President Donald Trump, likely in the Oval Office, along with White House counsel. According to a person familiar with the meeting, Kardashian plans to ask Trump to pardon a woman serving a life sentence without parole for a first-time drug offense.
Prison reform is an issue near and dear to Kushner, whose father, Charles, spent more than a year in a federal prison camp in 2005 and 2006 on charges of tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions, and witness tampering. The experience left an indelible mark on the young Kushner who, for years, carried a wallet his father made for him in prison; when he joined the White House as senior adviser, he vowed to help improve the system that his father had come through. And so, while other initiatives in his once-dizzying portfolio have fallen by the wayside, Kushner has made significant progress in getting Republican lawmakers on board with the effort, bringing law enforcement officials and Evangelical leaders to the White House, taking meetings on Capitol Hill, and hosting dinner parties with key Washington power players at the home he shares with his wife, Ivanka Trump. He pushed Congress to support a bipartisan bill known as the First Step Act, which aims to better prepare inmates to re-enter society by incentivizing participation in job-training and drug-treatment programs, and which would also give nonviolent offenders more options to serve the ends of their sentences in halfway houses or home confinement.