President Trump's announcement that he would pardon conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, and his comments that he is also mulling pardons for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and celebrity lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, are meant to ease concerns of allies, not to service the traditional role of righting judicial injustices, experts said yesterday.
D'Souza, 53, admitted in May 2014 that he illegally reimbursed two "straw donors" who donated $US10,000 each to the unsuccessful 2012 US Senate campaign in NY of Wendy Long, a Republican.
At his sentencing, D'Souza told the judge in the case that he regretted breaking the law, but he has argued in interviews since then, and in the "Hillary's America" documentary, that he was selectively targeted for prosecution.
Donald Trump pardoned a firebrand conservative author on Thursday and signalled that similar clemency could be on the way for lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, the latest in a series of controversial pardons by the U.S. president.
Trump announced one pardon Thursday and said he was considering two others.
In April, Trump pardoned Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who was chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney and was convicted in 2007 of lying in an investigation into the unmasking of a Central Intelligence Agency agent.
The federal prosecutor who oversaw Stewart's case in NY was James Comey, one of Trump's principal antagonists and the man he fired as FBI director previous year.
Besides Mr. Bharara, there's James Comey, who prosecuted Ms. Stewart, and Patrick Fitzgerald, who prosecuted both Mr. Blagojevich and Mr. Libby, and is a friend of Mr. Comey's.
By considering a Martha Stewart pardon, President Donald Trump may be trying to set a precedent that lying under oath should not be punished as harshly as she was, according to an entertainment lawyer.
In the statement, D'Souza acknowledged he was violating the law.
But prosecutors said the charges were nonpolitical and arose out of the FBI's "routine review" of campaign filings.
The Department of Justice confirmed that the D'Souza pardon did not follow the established process for clemency ― the same way the Arpaio and Libby pardons had not. If you've followed D'Souza's career you know that he's just the dullest kind of partisan hack-one without even the awful sense of humor or weirdly enraging anti-charisma of a Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter.
Talking to reporters on board Air Force One, Trump said Blagojevich did something that "lots of politicians" do, adding his prison sentence was excessive for merely saying something dumb.
Mr. D'Souza is the author of almost 20 books and producer of four movies, with the latest one being "Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party". "The career prosecutors and agents did their job". Trump and Comey have traded barbs on Twitter and in public comments for the past year. Trump also told reporters that what Blagojevich said, while "stupid", was something "many other politicians say".
In response, D'Souza tweeted his excitement over Trump's decision.
In addition to the five people pardoned, Trump has granted one commutation since taking office.
Last week the president posthumously pardoned Jack Johnson, an African-American heavyweight boxing champion who was convicted of transporting a white woman - his future wife - across state lines.
The power of the presidential pardon should be used to correct flaws in the criminal justice system.