Friends of Trump
February 19, 2020

President Trump granted a full pardon to former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik on Tuesday, clearing him of his eight counts of tax fraud, lying to federal investigators, and other crimes that accompanied his downfall. Kerik had already served his three years in prison for his crimes, but the pardon wipes out more than his criminal record, the New York Daily News reports. "The pardon cancels out $103,300 in restitution that Kerik still owed the Internal Revenue Service as part of his sentence, according to a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan."

The White House credited Kerik's friend and former boss in New York City, Rudy Giuliani — now Trump's personal lawyer and Ukraine fixer — for helping persuade Trump to pardon Kerik. Another friend of both Kerik and Trump, Newsmax chief executive Christopher Ruddy, told the Daily News that Trump's pardon was "a just decision" in light of Kerik's "minor stuff" crimes.

One of Kerik's former colleagues in the Giuliani administration, NYC Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, recalled Kerik's multifaceted downfall from heroic 9/11 figure to flamed-out reject for Homeland Security secretary slightly differently back in late 2004, The New Yorker recounted: "Officials have gotten into trouble for sexual misconduct, abusing their authority, personal bankruptcy, failure to file documents, waste of public funds, receiving substantial unrecorded gifts, and association with organized crime figures. It is rare for anyone to be under fire on all seven of the above issues." Peter Weber

February 11, 2020

Federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., recommended 7 to 9 years in prison for President Trump's longtime adviser Roger Stone on Monday evening, and early Tuesday morning, Trump called that "a horrible and very unfair situation." A jury found Stone guilty on all seven charges of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering in November, and Stone is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 20. Trump's claim that he — or someone? — "cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!" suggests Stone might get a presidential pardon or commutation of his sentence. Earlier Monday, Trump suggested drug dealers should get the death penalty.

Stone was convicted of mendaciously obscuring his role in trying to hook the 2016 Trump campaign up with Wikileaks to coordinate the release of damaging information on Hillary Clinton that had been stolen by Russian military hackers. Among the charges was that Stone threatened to kill Randy Credico, a friend and radio host, and steal his comfort dog if Credico told Congress he wasn't Stone's go-between with WikiLeaks, as Stone had falsely claimed. Credico later told the court he believed Stone was kidding. Peter Weber

See More Speed Reads