President Trump pardoned a guy who wrote a flattering book about him Wednesday. He’s also the president’s former business partner on a Trump Tower project.
Conrad Black, author of “Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other,” tweeted Wednesday that he received a call from his old friend to let him know that his 2007 mail fraud and obstruction convictions would be pardoned. Black, a Canadian-born citizen of Britain and a member of the U.K.’s House of Lords, served three years in prison after he defrauded investors in his company, Hollinger International, of $6 million. He was banned from entering the United States, although two other fraud convictions were overturned in 2010.
Black, who controlled the Hollinger International newspaper publishing empire until he was fired by the board in 2004, also once partnered with Trump to build Trump Tower in Chicago. But the media mogul was later bought out, according to the Washington Post.
“When my assistant said there was a call from the White House, I picked up and said ‘Hello’ and started to ask if this was a prank (suspecting my friends in the British tabloid media), but the caller spoke politely over me: ‘Please hold for the president,’” Black wrote in a column in the National Post announcing his pardon. “Two seconds later probably the best-known voice in the world said ‘Is that the great Lord Black?’ I said, ‘Mr. President, you do me great honour telephoning me.’”
“He could not have been more gracious and quickly got to his point: He was granting me a full pardon that would ‘expunge the bad rap you got.’”
Black — or as he’s known in the House of Lords: Conrad Moffat Black, Baron Black of Crossharbour, KCSG — insists that his pardon had nothing to do with his book about Trump, which heaps praise on the president.
“The traits that elevated Donald Trump to the White House are the traits of America,” begins Conrad’s profile. “Like the country he represents, Donald Trump possesses the optimism to persevere and succeed, the confidence to affront tradition and convention, a genius for spectacle, and a firm belief in the common sense and the common man.”
Black was currently on a leave of absence from his position in the House of Lords, but a spokesperson confirmed to the Guardian that he could resume voting privileges if he gave three months' notice of his intent to return.
Trump also granted a pardon Wednesday to Patrick Nolan, an ex-GOP legislator in California who pleaded guilty to racketeering in 1994 after an FBI sting. FBI agents secretly recorded Nolan accepting checks.
These last two pardons are just the latest in Trump’s legacy. He previously pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an immigration hard-liner and prominent Trump supporter convicted of criminal contempt, as well as Dinesh D’Souza, a far-right filmmaker who frequently targets Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. D’Souza pleaded guilty to felony violations of campaign laws in 2014.
Cover image: In this Jan. 13, 2011 file photo, Conrad Black arrives at the federal building in Chicago. President Donald Trump has granted a full pardon to Black, a former newspaper publisher who has written a flattering political biography of Trump. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)