Trump granted a pardon to yet another undeserving conservative huckster.
On Wednesday, Trump pardoned Conrad Black — a former business partner and fraudster who also penned a favorable book about Trump.
Black is a former media baron who once owned several newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times. He swindled his own company out of $60 million and was convicted in 2007 of fraud and obstruction of justice.
He's also a former business partner of Trump, having worked with Trump to build Trump Tower in Chicago. Trump was even planning on testifying at Black's 2007 trial and was going to say that when Black threw a $62,000 birthday party for his wife and charged it to his company, it was a business event instead of a social occasion.
What likely impressed Trump the most, though, was the fact that Black wrote an adoring book about him. In it, he called opposition to Trump "name-calling" and declared that Trump "is not, in fact, a racist, sexist, warmonger, hothead." Even the title of the book — "Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other" — is hilariously overwrought.
Black has also sucked up to Trump in the pages of National Review. Back in 2015, he wrote a piece called "Trump is the Good Guy" — which Trump promptly tweeted about. Then, just one day before his pardon was announced, Black wrote another piece called "Smooth Sailing Ahead for Trump."
It's a very Trumpian-sounding piece. In it, Black says that the Democratic party is "infested with lunatics." He also goes on at length about the conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama oversaw "illegal surveillance" of Trump and cheers the advent of an investigation of Hillary Clinton's campaign.
It's no wonder Trump likes him so much.
Since taking office, Trump has repeatedly used his pardon power to absolve conservatives who have as tenuous a grasp on lawfulness as Trump himself.
Racist ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio was pardoned in August 2017. Conservative pundit Dinesh D'Souza, who violated federal campaign finance law, got a pardon in May 2018. And right-wing arsonists Dwight and Steven Hammond got pardoned in July of last year.
With this latest pardon, it's clear Trump is using the pardon power like he uses every other part of his presidency: haphazardly and illegitimately.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.