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Conrad Black: Trump pardons ex-media mogul

16 May 2019

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday granted a full pardon to Conrad Black, a former newspaper publisher who has written a flattering political biography of Trump.

Lord Black, born in Montreal, Canada, was the former head of Hollinger International, which once owned the Daily Telegraph, Chicago Sun-Times, Jerusalem Post and hundreds of community papers in the USA and Canada.

It's a scenario few could even have imagined when Conrad Black was found guilty of fraud and obstruction of justice in a Chicago courtroom in 2007, one that was packed so full of worldwide media and spectators that a second overflow room was set up in the downtown courthouse.

Black - who gave up his Canadian citizenship when he became a member of Britain's House of Lords - was deported from the USA in 2012 after being released from a Florida prison.

"Lord Black's case has attracted broad support from many high-profile individuals, who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character", the White House statement reads.

Lord Black wrote that Mr Trump told him he was granting clemency because his conviction was an "unjust verdict".

"My long ordeal with the US justice system was never anything but a confluence of unlucky events, the belligerence of several corporate governance charlatans, and grandstanding local and American judges", Black wrote.

The statement continued on: "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".

Two of his three fraud convictions were later scrapped and his sentence shortened.

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

At least one observer speculated more than a year ago that Black's consistent praise of Trump might have been the work of someone angling for a pardon.

Last year Trump granted a full pardon to Dinesh D'Souza, a conservative author and firebrand.

The pair have previously described each other as friends, with Mr Trump calling Lord Black "one of the truly great intellects and my friend" and said he "won't forget" after the publication of an article in the National Enquirer - titled Trump Is The Good Guy - about his campaign.

"If you were able to put in a cameo appearance and say a supporting word, I'm sure it would have an impact on the group and be favourably noted in the press", Black wrote.

Conrad Black: Trump pardons ex-media mogul