Conrad Black served three-and-a-half years in prison after he was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice

By

Rachel DeSantis

May 16, 2019 09:49 PM

Donald Trump has issued a full pardon to his longtime friend and business associate Conrad Black, a former media mogul who published a glowing biography of the president last May.

Black, 74, was convicted in 2007 of obstruction of justice and fraud for swindling shareholders of his company, Hollinger International, out of millions of dollars. He was released from prison in 2012 after three-and-a-half years behind bars.

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In a statement Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described Black as “entirely deserving” of his pardon and she cited his work as “an entrepreneur and scholar,” including biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon. (No mention was made of his Trump biography).

“In 2007, prosecutors alleged that Lord Black had committed several acts of mail fraud and obstruction,” the statement read. “The Supreme Court of the United States, however, largely disagreed and overturned almost all charges in his case. He nevertheless spent 3.5 years in prison.”

The statement went on to name the “impressive” list of “high-profile individuals who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character,” including former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Elton John, Rush Limbaugh, and William F. Buckley, Jr.

The

Prosecutor Eric Sussman, however, reportedly noted that the donation to the foundation wasn’t out of pocket, but from the coffers of the U.K.’s

Black’s media empire included the

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The

Black, a native of Canada, renounced his citizenship in 2001 to be inducted into Britain’s House of Lords, but moved back to Canada after he was released from prison, according to the BBC.

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He has long been praiseworthy of Trump in the press and has published dozens of columns praising the president in the

One, published earlier this month under the title, “Trump Looks Solid for 2020,” proclaims: “President Trump can turn a likely clear win into a mighty landslide. I believe he will do it.”

Another shared before the 2016 election – titled “Trump Is the Good Guy” – even caught the president’s eye, as he shared it on Twitter and wrote, “What an honor to read your piece. As one of the truly great intellects & my friend, I won’t forget!”

.@ConradMBlack, what an honor to read your piece. As one of the truly great intellects & my friend, I won't forget! https://t.co/3FGB0NyfaO

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2015

In addition to the columns, Black published

In an essay published on the

“He could not have been more gracious and quickly got to his point: he was granting me a full pardon that would ‘Expunge the bad rap you got,’” Black wrote.

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He continued, “’We’ve known each other a long time,’ the president told me, ‘but that wasn’t any part of the reason. Nor has any of the supportive things you’ve said and written about me.’”

Trump previously pardoned controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2017. He was convicted of criminal contempt for ignoring a federal judge’s order to stop traffic patrols targeting immigrants.

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