U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday he's considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted of corruption, and pardoning lifestyle entrepreneur Martha Stewart, who served a stint in federal prison after being convicted of charges related to a stock sale.
The president also said he is also considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blegojevich. He was convicted in 2011 for misusing his powers as governor, including an attempt to sell former President Barack Obama's Senate seat before he was caught by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
But Trump's willingness to remedy an "unfair" justice system via presidential pardon seems to vanish when speaking about his political enemies. "But that's okay, I don't view it that way".
"I've always felt he was very unfairly treated", Mr. Trump said on Air Force One.
The federal prosecutor who oversaw Stewart's case in NY was James Comey, one of Trump's principal antagonists and the man he fired as FBI director a year ago.
As he left Washington to fly to Texas, Trump tweeted: "Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D'Souza today". If you read his statement it was a foolish statement there was a lot of bravado ... but it does not. plenty of other politicians have said a lot worse.
Attorneys Deborah Blum and Seth Berenzweig on President Trump considering pardons for Martha Stewart and Rod Blagojevich and the fallout from ABC canceling Roseanne.
Trump also might be sending a message to campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, national security adviser Michael Flynn and deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, who have pleaded guilty, to stop cooperating with the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Trump told reporters that he had spoken personally with D'Souza 'for three minutes last night, ' adding that 'he nearly had a heart attack'. Critics were quick to note Trump was subverting prosecutions involving his nemesis, former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey; Comey's lawyer, Patrick Fitzgerald, the former U.S. attorney in Chicago; and Preet Bharara, whom Trump fired past year as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY.
On Thursday, D'Souza thanked Trump in Twitter posts that also slammed Bharara.
Others saw the possibility of a pardon as a result of a relationship with Trump.
D'Souza, 53, admitted in 2014 he illegally reimbursed two "straw donors" who donated $10,000 each to the unsuccessful 2012 US Senate campaign in NY of Wendy Long, a Republican he had known since attending Dartmouth College in the 1980s.