Earlier this week, President Trump commuted the sentence of a 63-year-old who was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. The commutation could be the first of a series of pardons or lessening of sentences as Trump is looking for recommendations.
The first people President Trump has asked is those who knelt or otherwise protested the National Anthem during the 2017 NFL season.
The woman, Alice Johnson, had already served more than 20 years for a first-time drug offense. Her story went viral over the internet and was brought to the president’s attention when culture icon Kim Kardashian visited the White House.
Johnson’s story is one of nearly 82,000 other sentenced federal prisoners. According to the most recent date that data is available, this number makes up about 47 percent of all people in the federal prison system. As per federal law, these inmates are without the possibility of parole and must serve their full sentence; unless the president should choose to intervene.
Now, Trump is looking for other people to help.
Good luck to Alice Johnson. Have a wonderful life!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2018
As the Hill reports, “President Trump said Friday that he would ask athletes who kneel during the national anthem to recommend people for him to pardon.” Should the two ever converse, it would bring an interesting reconciliation after National Anthem protestors and the president clashed throughout the season.
Trump has been highly critical of athletes kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” calling it disrespectful to the country. Earlier this week he disinvited the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles from the White House over their differing stances on the protests.
“They’re not proud enough to stand for our national anthem, I don’t like that,” Trump said to reporters outside the White House on Friday, criticizing the protests as “talk, talk, talk.”
However, he said, he plans to ask kneeling athletes to recommend “friends of theirs or people that they know about” who they think should be pardoned.
“What I am going to say to them, instead of talk – it’s all talk, talk, talk – we have a great country. You should stand for our National Anthem. you shouldn’t go into a locker room when the National Anthem is playing.”
“I am going to ask all of those people to recommend to me — because that’s what they’re protesting — people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system,” Trump said, per the report. “I am going to ask all of those people to recommend to me people that they think were unfairly treated [like] friends of theirs, or people they know about. And, I am going to take a look at those applications and if I find, and my committee finds that they were unfairly treated, then we will pardon them or at least let them out.”
Check it out:
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 8, 2018
Here’s even more, from the Hill:
Trump said Friday that he was considering pardoning the late boxing champion Muhammad Ali.
He has come under fire for claiming that, while he has done nothing wrong, he has “the absolute right” to pardon himself as well, a claim he doubled down on Friday morning.
Other subjects of Trump pardons include the late boxer Jack Johnson, conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, former Bush administration official Lewis “Scooter” Libby, ex-Navy sailor Kristian Saucier and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is running for Senate in Arizona.