Trump picks pardon requests from wealthy pals and GOP donors
By MICHAEL BIESECKER
WASHINGTON (AP) - The 11 felons pardoned or set free by President Donald Trump this week were convicted of a wide array of serious crimes. But all had a common thread - they had advocates among the president’s wealthy friends and political allies. In at least some cases, Trump has personal relationships with those granted clemency. While Trump says he is righting wrongs, he is once again shattering institutional norms. Rather than relying on carefully vetted recommendations from Justice Department lawyers, Trump appears to have instead relied on GOP mega-donors, celebrities and Fox News personalities who personally vouched for those he picked.
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