President Trump May Pardon Martha Stewart, Former Governor Rod Blegojevich

President Trump May Pardon Martha Stewart, Former Governor Rod Blegojevich

Donald Trump announced today that he was pardoning conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, who pleaded guilty in 2014 to making illegal campaign contributions.

D'Souza told Fox News that Trump called him on Wednesday to tell him he would be pardoned.

What do those three people have in common? The prosecutor in the case, then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan, was an Obama appointee. Instead, he was sentenced to five years of probation and eight months in a "community confinement center" and ordered to pay a $30,000 fine.

Blagojevich is now almost halfway through serving his 14-year sentence after being found guilty of 18 felony charges, including wire fraud, extortion, bribery and conspiracy.

Martha Stewart was prosecuted by Comey when he was United States attorney attorney for the Southern District of NY.

Stewart was convicted of multiple felony charges in 2004 and served five months in federal prison on charges related to a 2001 stock sale.

All the cases have involved public figures or received media attention - from Scooter Libby to former Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Stewart was the host of a spinoff of "The Apprentice" in 2005, and Blagojevich appeared as a contestant on "Celebrity Apprentice" before he began his sentence.

Actor Sylvester Stallone successfully lobbied for a posthumous pardon for legendary boxer Jack Johnson.

D'Souza immediately retweeted Trump's announcement. "The career prosecutors and agents did their job".

It's a transparently political move that ignores the fact that D'Souza admitted in court that he knew he was breaking the law, and lets prominent Trump supporters know that they can flagrantly commit crimes and expect a pardon down the line.

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Ben Sasse, R-Neb. "We've been down this road before-blanket protectionism is a big part of why America had a Great Depression". It prompted threats of retaliation from the European Union on United States products before the policy was abandoned.

In response, D'Souza tweeted his excitement over Trump's decision.

D'Souza also put forward, without evidence, that his conviction was a retaliation by the Obama administration for his movie, 2016: Obama's America, a film advertised as "The movie the White House doesn't want you to see".

Before pleading guilty in 2014, D'Souza insisted on his innocence and claimed he was targeted for federal prosecution because of his anti-Obama views.

Authorities said that he encouraged individuals to donate $20,000 to an unnamed political candidate - later revealed to be the New York Republican Wendy Long, who was challenging Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand for her Senate seat - which exceeded the federal campaign donation cap of $5,000.

"Eighteen years in jail for being stupid and saying things that every other politician, you know that many other politicians say", Trump said.

"But he said, upon reviewing it, he felt a great injustice had been done and that using his power, he was going to rectify it, sort of clear the slate", Mr. D'Souza said of his conversation with Mr. Trump.

President Donald Trump clearly has pardons on his mind.

D'Souza is a former policy analyst under President Ronald Reagan and a prolific author well-known for works critical of Obama.

Most recently, he apologized for a tweet taunting survivors of the shooting in Parkland, Fla., after Florida lawmakers opted not to ban assault weapons.

The tweets have been sharply criticized by some Florida Republicans, including Gov. Rick Scott. Scott, who is running for U.S. Senate, has not yet decided whether he will attend.

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