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Conrad Black: Trump pardons ex-media mogul

Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a full pardon for the former media mogul Conrad Black, who was convicted in 2007 of fraud and obstruction of justice and spent three and a half years in prison.

Black, 74, a Canadian-born British citizen, once ran an international newspaper empire that included the Chicago Sun-Times, Britain’s Daily Telegraph and the Jerusalem Post.

He was found guilty in the United States in 2007 of scheming to siphon off millions of dollars from the sale of newspapers owned by Hollinger Inc, where he was the chief executive and chairman.

Two of his three fraud convictions were later voided, and his sentence was shortened. He was released from a Florida prison in May 2012 and deported from the United States.

The White House statement on the pardon touted Black’s “tremendous contributions to business”.

“Formerly the owner of the world’s then-third largest newspaper, he is also the author of several notable biographies and works of history,” the White House noted. “These include comprehensive biographies of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard M. Nixon, a complete history of Canada, and an impressive essay evaluating how the world would have been different had Japan not attacked Pearl Harbor” the statement continued.

In 2018 Black published a book on the president titled Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other. In it he wrote that the “great majority of anti-Trump activity in the first year of his administration was devoted to falsehoods, which were then justified by the selective and intentional misinterpretation of Trump’s careless and ambiguous statements.”

“He (Trump) is not, in fact, a racist, sexist, warmonger, hothead, promoter of violence, or a foreign or domestic economic warrior. No opposition can continue on this name-calling basis alone for much longer than this one has.

“Those who oppose Trump generally do not understand how desperate and disgusted almost half of Americans are at the most inept twenty-year streak of presidential misgovernment in American history that preceded the 2016 election.”

The White house said Black’s case had attracted “broad support from many high-profile individuals who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character.”

“This impressive list includes former Secretary of State Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Sir Elton John, Rush Limbaugh, the late William F. Buckley, Jr., and many additional notable individuals”.

The office of the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, declined to comment.

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