On Tuesday, February 18, President Donald Trump went on a spree of granting executive clemency. He issued seven pardons and commuted five sentences. Here is an in-depth look at the individuals that earned clemency from the President.
Eddie DeBartolo, Jr.: The former owner of the San Francisco 49ers owner pleaded guilty in 1998 to failing to report a felony in a bribery case, which led to former Louisiana Gov. Edwin W. Edwards going to federal prison. DeBartolo, 73, did not serve jail time, but he paid up to $1 million in fines and relinquished ownership of the 49ers to his sister, Denise York. During the 23 years that he owned the San Francisco 49ers, the team won 13 division titles and 5 Super Bowl Championships.
49ers great Jerry Rice is part of a group of former players who were advocating for Debartolo’s clemency. “I think with Eddie and what he has accomplished, what he has done on the football field, off the football field a lot of charity work so we talked about that,” Rice said Tuesday at the White House. “We talked about just being great. You know, trying to be the greatest of all time. And you know, I take my hat off for Donald Trump and what he did.”
Ariel Friedler: According to a White House statement, he is a software entrepreneur who pled guilty to conspiracy to access a protected computer without authorization and served two months in prison. At the time of his arrest, his company employed more than 150 people.
Since his release, Mr. Friedler has volunteered his time and expertise to promoting veterans issues and helping former prisoners reenter and rejoin society. His clemency was supported by former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Bernard Kerik: The former NYPD Commissioner pleaded guilty to ethics violations in 2006. before pleading guilty on eight federal charges, including tax fraud, in 2009. He spent over three years in federal prison with three years probation.
“I was extremely emotional,” Kerik told Newsmax TV Tuesday on ‘Newsmax Now.’ “He said, ‘I want you to move on with your life. You’ve had a great career. You’ve had a phenomenal career of service. Move on with your life. Live a good life, and keep doing what you’re doing.'”
Michael Milken: Known for his role in the development of the market for “junk bonds,” Milken, 73, served 22 months of a 10 year sentence for violating securities laws in the 1980s. He has also been a prominent philanthropist, co-founding the Milken Family Foundation in 1982 with his brother Lowell, spending a lot of time on cancer research. Milken is a prostate cancer survivor.
Pres. Trump told reporters Tuesday that Milken has “done an incredible job for the world with all his research on cancer” and that “he’s suffered greatly. He paid a big price.”
Paul Pogue: The owner of a construction company and GOP donor, who was sentenced to three years probation for underpaying his taxes by approximately 10% over a three-year period. According to a White House statement, Pogue has made “significant charitable contributions,” including disaster relief following Hurricane Harvey and other crises, as well as “significant humanitarian aid to countries around the world.”
Pogue is the founder of two non-profit organizations. One constructs churches, clinics, schools, and orphanages in developing countries. The other provides disaster relief to communities in need.
David Safavian: A former Republican lobbyist and lawyer, who served in President George W. Bush’s administration. Safavian was sentenced to one year in prison in 2009 for obstructing an investigation and making false statements in connection to a former lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, while working in the General Services Administration.
A White House statement said Safavian is “uniquely positioned to identify problems with the criminal justice system and work to fix them.” His legal license has been restored in Washington. His pardon was supported by conservative Matt Schlapp and liberal Van Jones.
Angela Stanton: An author, television personality, and motivational speaker, who was pardoned for her involvement in a stolen vehicle ring in 2007, for which she served six months of home confinement.
Rod Blagojevich: The former Illinois Governor, a Democrat and former contestant on Mr. Trump’s NBC show “Celebrity Apprentice” who served eight years of a 14-year sentence for pay-for-play charges. He was released from prison Tuesday.
“He served eight years in jail, a long time. He seems like a very nice person, don’t know him,” Pres. Trump said, calling his sentence “ridiculous” and indicating that the television appeals of Blagojevich’s wife Patti helped him make this decision.
Tynice Nichole Hall: She served nearly 14 years for drug-related charges. Hall was convicted on charges to distribute, possess, and manufacture crack cocaine, as well as possession of firearms, according to the Justice Department.
Since she was incarcerated in 2006, Hall participated in numerous job training programs and has continued to work toward a college degree, a White House statement said.
Crystal Munoz: She served 12 years in prison for marijuana-related charges. In 2008, Munoz was found guilty and sentenced to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, according to court records. She previously applied for clemency during the Obama administration.
Judith Negron: Pres. Trump commuted her 35-year prison sentence for her role in a $205 million Medicare fraud scheme. Negron, 48, was found guilty in 2011 on multiple counts of health care fraud and money laundering. She served 8 years of her sentence and according to the White House, has spent this time working to improve her life and the lives of her fellow inmates.