Trump issues pair of pardons to conservative advocate, former publisher

Former media baron Conrad Black is shown at the University Club in Toronto on Tuesday

In 2018 he published Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other, a flattering political biography of the president.

Not only that Black would receive a full pardon from criminal charges, as he did on Wednesday, but that the pardon would be communicated by a White House led by a former business associate, real estate tycoon Donald Trump - a bit player in the saga of Black's fall from atop an worldwide media empire spanning three continents.

"[Black] was found guilty in the United States in 2007 of scheming to siphon off millions of dollars from the sale of newspapers owned by Hollinger Inc, where he was chief executive and chairman".

"In 2007, prosecutors alleged that Lord Black had committed several acts of mail fraud and obstruction".

In 2013, the US Securities and Exchange Commission banned him from acting as a director of a US company and ordered him to pay $4.1 million in restitution.

The White House, justifying the pardon, cited "broad support from many high-profile individuals who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character", naming Henry Kissinger, Rush Limbaugh, the late William F. Buckley Jr., and Elton John.

Lord Black, born in Montreal, Canada, was the former head of Hollinger International, which once owned the Daily Telegraph, Chicago Sun-Times, Jerusalem Post and hundreds of community papers in the U.S. and Canada.

Black, a prolific writer and historian in his own right, vehemently maintained his innocence and launched a series of libel lawsuits in Canada to strike back at the detractors he blames for destroying his once vast empire.

He also penned and op-ed for Canada's National Post, a newspaper he founded in the 1990s, in response to the pardon.

According to a lengthy post on Black's website, Trump called Black and told him personally of the pardon. The statement also noted that Black is "the author of several notable biographies", but didn't mention the glowing book Black published about Trump past year. "He said that there would be some controversy, "but you can handle that better than anyone".

However, the statement from the White House announcing Black's pardon on Wednesday contains a callback to Trump's earlier role in Black's saga.

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