Criminal Justice

Trump pardons former business associate who wrote complimentary book about him

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Conrad Black

Conrad Black. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

President Donald Trump has issued pardons to a former Republican legislator who backed prison reform and a former business associate who praised him in a book last year.

The former business associate is Conrad Black, who was sentenced to 6½ years in prison in 2007 for embezzling millions of dollars from the newspaper chain Hollinger International, report the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. A federal appeals court upheld convictions for obstruction and one fraud count, but overturned convictions for two counts of “honest services” fraud. He ultimately spent 3½ years in prison.

Black wrote a book about Trump last year that described him as “a good deal more ethical and honest than many other businessmen and corporate directors I have known.” The book is called Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other. The Washington Post and CNN also have coverage.

When Black led Hollinger, the company made a deal with Trump to develop a building in Chicago on the site of the former building for the Chicago Sun-Times, a newspaper owned by the company. Trump later acquired Hollinger’s stake in the project.

A White House announcement says Black served as a tutor to 150 students while in prison. His case gained support from notable people who include Rush Limbaugh, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Elton John, the White House said.

The announcement identifies Black as “Lord Conrad M. Black of Crossharbour.” He gave up his Canadian citizenship to become a British lord in 2001, the Wall Street Journal says.

Trump also pardoned Patrick Nolan, a former Republican lawmaker in California who received a 33-month sentence after pleading guilty to public corruption charges in 1994. In prison, he helped organize religious study groups. After his release, he “became a tireless advocate for criminal justice reform,” according to the White House announcement.

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