President Donald Trump on Wednesday pardoned Conrad M. Black, a friend and former business associate who wrote a flattering book about the president last year.
Black, a Canadian-born citizen of Britain, was found guilty of mail fraud and obstruction in 2007 in a ploy to swindle millions of dollars from investors in his media company. Black served more than three years in prison and was legally barred from re-entering the United States, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
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In a statement, the White House praised Black as “an entrepreneur and scholar,” citing his many published works. It also stated the Supreme Court overturned many of the charges against Black and that several people, including former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Elton John, Rush Limbaugh and the late William F. Buckley Jr. all vouched for Black.
However, the statement did not mention Black’s book “Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other,” which praised the president and was published last year. Nor did it mention the many columns Black has written lauding Trump.
Black has described himself as a personal friend of Trump, and the two had briefly worked together in constructing the Trump Tower in Chicago, the Washington Post reported. In December 2015, after Black wrote a National Review article headlined “Trump is the good guy,“ Trump tweeted: “What an honor to read your piece. As one of the truly great intellects & my friend, I won’t forget!“
Black continues to write positively about Trump, tweeting Wednesday: “The Democrats have, evidently, no idea how to deal with this president, and their moral crusade against him is about to be swamped by the unmasking of the skullduggery [sic] and chicanery of the Clinton and Obama Democrats in 2016.”
Trump‘s presidential pardons have not been without controversy. His first pardon was of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who also been vocally supportive of the president. He also pardoned conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza from convictions of campaign contribution fraud, and granted a posthumous pardon to champion boxer Jack Johnson. On Wednesday, Trump also pardoned Patrick Nolan, former Republican leader of the California State Assembly.
Black at one point controlled Hollinger International, a media company whose holdings included the Chicago Sun-Times, the Jerusalem Post and the Daily Telegraph in the United Kingdom. A prolific author, Black’s books also include biographies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Richard M. Nixon.