The billionaire president Donald Trump has also pardoned an ally who has continued to sing his praises: the former Canadian press owner Conrad Black, sentenced in the United States in 2007 for fraud and obstruction of justice.
Donald Trump on Wednesday used one of the powers of the US president and acquitted his friend, former partner and political ally, Conrad Black, a former tycoon convicted in 2007 for fraud and obstruction of justice. At age 74, Baron Black of Crossharbour, a native of Montreal, remains a fervent admirer of the president. He continues to praise the political exploits of the American billionaire, as in his latest book, published in 2018, entitled Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other (Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other, untranslated)
In the 1990s, Conrad Black, who was also a billionaire at the time, ran the world’s third largest press empire, “Hollinger,” which included the London Daily Telegraph, the Jerusalem Post, the Chicago Sun-Times or the National Post in Toronto. But in 2004, Black is accused of embezzling 60 million dollars with his associates during the same decade 90. He is guilty, in first instance, of having embezzled 6.1 million dollars, via the attribution of bonuses during the assignment of newspapers. However, he continues to plead his innocence, increasing his appeals to the United States Supreme Court, and ends up in jail for the first time in July 2010 and finally in May 2012. But his remission goes hand in hand. inadmissibility by the United States authorities for 30 years. It is this ban that the American president has just lifted.
In the White House statement Wednesday justifying presidential clemency, Donald Trump praises his friend and admirer. “As a learned entrepreneur, Lord Black has made remarkable contributions to the business community, as well as to political and historical thought,” says the White House, citing the support of former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and the musician Elton John at Conrad Black.
- A party at 62 000 dollars
The friendship between Trump and Black is old. Trump was to be called to testify in support of his friend’s defense at his 2007 trial in Chicago. He was to certify that Black’s lavish surprise birthday for his wife at the New York restaurant “The Frog” was a real pleasure. business meal, which would have justified the $ 62,000 that Black had charged to his business to cover the cost of the party. But the ex-mogul’s lawyers had ended up with Trump’s testimony.
One day before being pardoned, Black had published a tribune in the National Review, in which he ensured that Trump “had a greater reason to be re-elected next year than all the presidents since Richard Nixon in 1972.” But Trump denies any correlation between his friendship with Black and his sudden release. He says that if he pardoned his friend, it was because he found the verdict unfair.
The case of Black joins the long list of clemency granted by this American president to personalities sharing his political ideas. Last year, he pardoned Dinesh D’Souza, a highly anti-democratic, polemical conservative who pleaded guilty in 2014 to violations of election financing laws. The 45th President of the United States also pardoned, in 2017, former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, convicted for his police methods discriminating against illegal immigrants.