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Trump pardoned a hodgepodge of controversial figures, from Joe Arpaio to Roger Stone. Now, dozens of them are contributing to his 2024 bid or have spread his false election claims.

Trump pardoned a hodgepodge of controversial figures, from Joe Arpaio to Roger Stone. Now, dozens of them are contributing to his 2024 bid or have spread his false election claims.
  • Trump is receiving 2024 backing and donations from many individuals to whom he granted clemency.

  • A Washington Post reviews detailed how a range of figures are boosting Trump's White House bid.

  • Trump received a torrent of criticism while in office for his pardons of high-profile associates.

Former President Donald Trump during his four-year tenure in the White House granted 238 clemency orders, pardoning an array of individuals that included figures like former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, attorney I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and former NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik.

Many of Trump's pardons and commutations were highly controversial, as some observers criticized the then-president for what they believed was his focus on those who were convicted of white-collar offenses and individuals who possessed ties to influential donors.

In an analysis of Trump's clemency orders, The Washington Post found that dozens of individuals who received commutations or pardons from the then-president are now some of the most vocal backers of his 2024 White House bid, while others have either donated to his campaign or have repeated his false claims about the 2020 race that he lost to now-President Joe Biden.

The 91-year-old Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt of court but received a pardon in August 2017 before he was sentenced, has long been known for his conservative views from his years as the sheriff of Maricopa County.

Arpaio is now running to become mayor of Fountain Hills, Arizona, in the 2024 elections. And in Arizona, a former GOP stronghold-turned-swing state that Biden narrowly won in 2020, Arpaio is going all out to boost Trump's chances, granting endorsements that have been reposted by the former president and individually asking for voters to get behind the ex-Republican commander-in-chief.

And the ex-sheriff told The Post that he'd still be behind Trump even if the former president had declined to pardon him.

"He's never asked me for anything," Arpaio said. "He reflects what I believe in."

Joe Arpaio
Trump in August 2017 pardoned Arpaio for a criminal contempt of court conviction.AP Photo/Matt York

During his term in office, Trump favored granting pardons, in which past crimes are forgiven and civil rights are restored, over commutations, which fully or partially roll back sentences. Roughly 60% of Trump's clemency orders were pardons, according to Pew Research.

"The power to pardon is a beautiful thing," Trump said in 2018 while he still sat in the White House. "You got to get it right. You got to get the right people. … I want to do people that are unfairly treated."

The's Post review revealed that 26 clemency recipients or immediate family members have donated to Trump's campaign or a political action committee aligned with the former president in an amount totaling almost $1.8 million.

The Post report detailed how Charles Kushner, the father of presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and recipient of a presidential pardon from Trump, has become a major financial booster of the former president's bid to return to the White House. Earlier this year, Charles Kushner gave $1 million to the pro-Trump "Make America Great Again Inc." super PAC.

And then there are individuals like Kerik, political commentator Dinesh D'Souza, former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon, and political consultant Roger Stone, who have been in the former president's orbit and have amplified his false claims about the 2020 election. Kerik, D'Souza, and Bannon all received presidential pardons, while Stone had his sentence commuted by Trump.

Trump spokesman Steven Cheung in a statement to The Post said that the then-president's clemency orders "went through a vigorous vetting and review process" and that he took into account "each individuals' circumstances."

Read the original article on Business Insider