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American justice system 'largely evil', says Conrad Black after Trump's pardon

16 May 2019

President Donald Trump has issued a full pardon for Conrad Black, a former media mogul who was convicted on counts of wire fraud and obstruction of justice and who also wrote a biography that praised the president a year ago. He also owned prominent titles such as the Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Telegraph of London and The Jerusalem Post.

Black, who has British citizenship and was made a British peer by the Queen in 2001, was convicted of both fraud and obstruction of justice in Chicago in 2007. He was deported to Canada upon release in 2012, and barred from returning to the USA for 30 years.

Lord Black, who has called Mr Trump a friend, published a book a year ago praising him, titled Donald J Trump: A President Like No Other.

An appeals court later overturned two of the convictions but left two in place, according to the Associated Press. The White House said the experience "changed his life" and formed his later career as a conservative advocate for criminal justice revisions, including with the First Step Act, the criminal justice bill Trump signed into law previous year.

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He called it a long ordeal that was "never anything but a confluence of unlucky events, the belligerence of several corporate governance charlatans, and grandstanding local and American judges, all fanned by an unusually frenzied worldwide media showing exceptional interest in the case because I was a media owner". But a conviction for felony fraud and obstruction of justice were upheld in 2010 and he was re-sentenced to 42 months in prison and fined $125,000.

He wrote a column Thursday in Canada's National Post describing how Trump called him and revealed the pardon. In 2015, Trump tweeted his thanks to Black for a previous bit of praise in print: "As one of the truly great intellects & my friend, I won't forget!"

A judge reduced his sentence to three years.

"The Supreme Court of the United States, however, largely disagreed and overturned nearly all charges in his case", the White House said in a statement announcing the pardon.

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Examples of his work cited by the White House include biographies of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.

President Donald Trump issued a pardon Wednesday evening to Lord Conrad M. Black of Crossharbour and another to former Minority Leader of the California State Assembly, Patrick J. Nolan.

Nolan has been a vocal advocate for criminal justice reform since he spent more than two years in federal prison during the 1990s.

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American justice system 'largely evil', says Conrad Black after Trump's pardon