President Donald Trump has issued two pardons for people who are already out of prison. One of the men pardoned is Conrad Black, a Canadian-born form newspaper publisher. Trump’s decision to pardon Black seems to have come out of nowhere.
Black, who was formerly known as Lord Black, was convicted of fraud in 2007. He has served his sentence and largely disappeared from public life. However, before his conviction on four counts he was a prominent newspaper publisher. One of his newspapers was the UK’s Daily Telegraph, a prominent conservative daily.
The President’s decision to pardon Black, who spent three and a half years in prison, may stem from his book Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other. In the book, Black lavished praise on Trump and described him as ‘friend’. Black received praise from prominent conservatives including Rush Limbaugh.
Black was quick to brag about his pardon in a Canadian newspaper column, saying ‘at last, officially not guilty even in the conviction-mad United States.’ Black was deported to Canada following his prison term but has apparently enjoyed Trump’s attention.
Though the pardon may fly under the radar in the United States, where Black is no longer well known, his conviction caused a scandal in the UK, where Black had received high honors. The President’s critics will see his pardon as another example of rewarding those who praise him.