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Prison Cell

Trump’s Pardoned Criminals Share Some Things in Common

Gettyimages | Hans Neleman
By Sharon Oliver

Sure, all criminals have one very obvious commonality – they committed a crime. But in the case of the 11 pardoned by Donald Trump, they either had some inside connection, had been promoted on Fox News, were unabashed vocal supporters of Donald Trump, donated money to his campaign or in one case, had a son who spent a weekend in the Hamptons with the president’s eldest son, Don Jr. Even three obscure women serving time on fraud or drug charges got on Trump’s thanks to a personal connection, Kim Kardashian being one.

Paul Pogue

tax evasion
Gettyimages | designer491

After Paul Pogue, a former owner of a Texas construction company, contributed over $200,000 towards the campaign to help re-elect Trump, he was pardoned for tax charges. Last August, Pogue’s son Benjamin and daughter-in-law Ashleigh posted of photo of them posing Don Jr and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle in the Hamptons. Ms. Pogue wrote: “What an experience spending the weekend with these two and more!”

Regarding the pardon, the White House cited Paul Pogue’s charitable work, including the creation of two nonprofit organizations that help rebuild churches.

Bernie Kerik

Bernie Kerik
Gettyimages | Spencer Platt

Former New Yorker police commissioner, former bodyguard and friend of Rudy Giuliani was sentenced to 48 months in prison in 2010 after pleading guilty on multiple charges of tax fraud and lying to office. Released from prison since 2013 after serving three years for good behavior, Kerik has appeared on Fox News frequently as a defender of Trump.

Back in 2004, Trump referred to Bernie Kerik as “a friend of mine” and “a great guy” when Mr. Kerik had to withdraw his nomination for Secretary of Homeland Security due to ethics issues during the Bush administration.

Rod Blagojevich

Rod Blagojevich
Gettyimages | Moises De Pena

The former governor of Illinois and former contestant on Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice was sentenced to 14 years for attempting to essentially sell the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama. Upon his commuted sentence, a defiant and unapologetic Rod Blagojevich called himself a “freed political prisoner” during a news conference following his prison release. He’s also announced his new party affiliation – “Trumpocrat.”

Of Blagojevich, Trump has said: "He served eight years in jail, a long time," Trump said. "He seems like a very nice person — don't know him."

Again, Blagojevich had been a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice.

Pardon Party


Among those who Trump issued pardons, including Ariel Friedler, a former technology entrepreneur who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to access a protected computer; Michael Milken, the former investment banker ultimately known for his involvement in an insider trading scandal and who pleaded guilty to securities fraud in 1990, sentenced to 10 years in prison, serving two; David Safavian; a former government official who served one year on perjury charges; and Angela Stanton, a television personality who served six months of home confinement for activities related to a stolen vehicle ring. Stanton, who attended a “Women for Trump” event with Alveda King, was championed by the niece of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Trump granted seven pardons and four commutations on Tuesday.

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