Speed Reads

Trump pardons

In his last hour as president, Trump pardoned Jeanine Pirro's ex-husband

Almost 12 hours after former President Donald Trump issued a raft of pardons to friends, allies, rappers, GOP lawmakers and fundraisers, and others, he slipped in one last pardon for Albert Pirro, the ex-husband of Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, less than an hour before President Biden was sworn in, ABC News reports. "What was possibly Trump's final act as president reflected a recurring theme in his final months in office: delivering clemencies to scores of personal friends and political allies."

Pirro, 73, was convicted in 2000 on 34 counts of tax evasion and conspiracy for improperly deducting more than $1 million in personal expenses as tax write-offs for his New York real estate law businesses. He and Jeanine Pirro, one of Trump's favorite Fox personalities, were married at the time. Albert Pirro donated about $2,000 to Trump's 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee, ABC News notes, citing campaign finance records.

During his tabloid-like trial, "prosecutors suggested that Albert Pirro lusted for money in much the way that Richard Nixon lusted for power," The New York Times reported in June 2000, after his guilty verdicts were handed down for Pirro and his accountant brother. "Throughout the trial, prosecutors argued that by improperly deducting $1.2 million of Albert Pirro's personal expenses as business write-offs, thereby reducing Albert Pirro's taxes by $413,000, the brothers had brazenly violated a fundamental tenet of the American tax system: that every taxpayer must pay his or her fair share, regardless of wealth or influence."