Trump weighs more pardons after granting clemency for Dinesh D'Souza

President Trump granted his fifth pardon on Thursday, granting a pardon to conservative filmmaker and author Dinesh D'Souza. Trump said he is considering pardoning two celebrities with ties to his former show "The Apprentice."


Trump, who signed the paperwork formally pardoning D'Souza before announcing it on Twitter, had never met or spoken with D'Souza before this week. He told reporters aboard Air Force One Thursday that he called him for the first time Wednesday night to inform him that he would be pardoning him. The two spoke for nearly three minutes, according to the President.

"He almost had a heart attack," Trump said.

The official White House statement on D'Souza's pardon said he was, in the President's opinion, "a victim of selective prosecution for violations of campaign finance laws."

"Mr. D'Souza accepted responsibility for his actions, and also completed community service by teaching English to citizens and immigrants seeking citizenship. In light of these facts, the President has determined that Mr. D'Souza is fully worthy of this pardon," the statement said.

Trump said Thursday that he is also considering pardoning Martha Stewart and pardoning or commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Both were stars with Trump on NBC's "The Apprentice" franchise.

The President told reporters that Blagojevich had said something "stupid" but that it was similar to what other politicians have said and called the 18-year sentence "really unfair." He added that "plenty of other politicians could have said a lot worse."

Though past presidents have waited until the end of their term for controversial pardons, Trump has granted clemency to four people during his first 16 months in office. His pardons include former Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in an investigation into leaking the identity of a CIA officer, and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt in a case related to his hard-line tactics with undocumented immigrants.

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