President Trump announced this morning that he would be pardoning Dinesh D’Souza. Later, Trump added that he was also considering pardons for disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and for Martha Stewart, who was, of course, famously convicted in a stock trading scandal.
Trump tells reporters he is considering pardoning/commuting sentences of MARTHA STEWART & ROD BLAGOJEVICH
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) May 31, 2018
BREAKING: Trump says he's considering commuting sentence of ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, pardoning Martha Stewart.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 31, 2018
There are two interesting things to note about these cases.
First, both were on Trump TV shows. Rod Blagojevich competed on the 2010 season of Trump’s The Celebrity Apprentice.
Martha headed her own spin-off of the series, The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, which lasted only one season and listed Donald Trump as executive producer.
A second point, noted by Jake Tapper on Twitter, is that both of their cases are tied to former FBI Director and current Trump nemesis James Comey.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) May 31, 2018
D’Souza also has ties to Comey as PJM’s Tyler O’Neil observed:
At the time of D’Souza’s trial, four Republican senators wrote to then-FBI Director James Comey, complaining that it seemed convenient for Obama’s Justice Department to take out one of the administration’s most prominent critics. The senators quoted liberal Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who said, “I can’t help but think that [D’Souza’s] politics have something to do with it. … It smacks of selective prosecution.”