Photo: Brian Kersey/Getty

President Trump has pardoned Conrad Black, a friend and former media mogul who was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice in 2007 and served three years in prison, according to The Guardian.

Black is a Canadian who also has British citizenship. He is also known—and we are not making this up—as Lord Black of Crossharbour. Black formerly ran a company that included major newspapers like the Chicago Sun-Times, the Daily Telegraph, and the Jerusalem Post. He was convicted in the U.S. of fraud for stealing millions of dollars from his own business, Hollinger International.

Black once described Trump as an “old friend.” At one point, it seemed that Trump was going to testify at Black’s trial as a character witness, according to the New York Times.

The former media mogul hardly needed to be pardoned—two of Black’s three fraud convictions were already voided, and he was released from prison after serving about half his sentence in May 2010. He was subsequently deported.

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Not only was Black a friend of Trump’s, he also published an entire book on the president’s virtues in 2018. In the book, titled Donald J Trump: A President Like No Other, Black extolls Trump’s pure character. Black writes that a “great majority of anti-Trump activity in the first year of his administration was devoted to falsehoods, which were then justified by the selective and intentional misinterpretation of Trump’s careless and ambiguous statements.”

Trump is not, Black writes, “a racist, sexist, warmonger, hothead, promoter of violence, or a foreign or domestic economic warrior. No opposition can continue on this name-calling basis alone for much longer than this one has.”

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“Those who oppose Trump generally do not understand how desperate and disgusted almost half of Americans are at the most inept twenty-year streak of presidential misgovernment in American history that preceded the 2016 election,” he adds.

Black has also published numerous op-eds in support of Trump, including one just yesterday in the National Review.

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The White House is trying to sell the pardon as merited by Black’s exceptional achievements, including his “tremendous contributions to business.”

“Formerly the owner of the world’s then-third largest newspaper, he is also the author of several notable biographies and works of history,” the White House said in a statement. “These include comprehensive biographies of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard M. Nixon, a complete history of Canada, and an impressive essay evaluating how the world would have been different had Japan not attacked Pearl Harbor.”

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Awesome!

The statement noted that Black’s case had “broad support from many high-profile individuals who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character.”

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It just so happens that all of those individuals seem to be his rich friends.

“This impressive list includes former Secretary of State Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Sir Elton John, Rush Limbaugh, the late William F. Buckley, Jr., and many additional notable individuals,” the White House said.

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In an interview with Canada’s CTV News on Wednesday, Black called the pardon “very, very gratifying.”

“I was innocent,” he added. “There was no substance to any of the charges. There never was. The whole thing gradually disintegrated.”

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An essay published by Black on Tuesday describes his surprise at receiving a call from the president last week.

“We’ve known each other a long time,” Black says Trump told him on the call. “But that wasn’t any part of the reason [for the pardon]. Nor has any of the supportive things you’ve said and written about me.”

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Sure, buddy.