List of people granted executive clemency by Donald Trump

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Since taking office as the 45th President of the United States in January 2017, Donald Trump has granted executive clemency to a number of individuals.


As granted by the United States Constitution, "executive clemency may take several forms, including pardon, commutation of sentence, remission of fine or restitution, and reprieve".[1]

  • A pardon is an executive order granting clemency for a past conviction, the sentence of which has already been completed. Its practical effect is the restoration of civil rights and statutory disabilities (e.g., firearm rights, occupational licensing, etc.) associated with a past criminal conviction.[2]
  • A commutation is the mitigation of the sentence of someone currently serving a sentence for a crime pursuant to a conviction, without vacating the conviction itself.[2]

Constitutional authority[edit]

Article II of the United States Constitution gives the president the power of clemency. The two most commonly used clemency powers are those of pardon and commutation. A pardon is an official forgiveness for an acknowledged crime. Once a pardon is issued, all punishment for the crime is waived. The person accepting the pardon must, however, acknowledge that the crime did take place.[3] The president can only grant pardons for federal offences.[4] The president maintains the Office of the Pardon Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice to review all requests for pardons. The president can also commute a sentence which, in effect, changes the punishment to time served. While the guilty party may be released from custody or not have to serve out a prison term, all other punishments still apply.[citation needed]

Most pardons are issued as oversight of the judicial branch, especially in cases where the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are considered too severe. This power can check the legislative and judicial branches by altering punishment for crimes. Presidents can issue blanket amnesty to forgive entire groups of people. For example, President Jimmy Carter granted amnesty to Vietnam draft dodgers who had fled to Canada. Presidents can also issue temporary suspensions of prosecution or punishment in the form of respites. This power is most commonly used to delay federal sentences of execution.[citation needed]


Republican President Donald Trump has issued seven pardons as of July 10, 2018:

Date of Pardon Name Court Sentencing date Sentence Offense Notes
August 25, 2017 Joe Arpaio United States District Court for the District of Arizona October 5, 2017 N/A – Arpaio's pardon was issued after his conviction, but prior to his being sentenced. Criminal contempt of court Former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, was convicted of contempt of court and was awaiting sentencing. Arpaio was pardoned for one contempt offense of which he had been convicted (but not yet sentenced) and for any not-yet-charged offenses he may have committed in the same case.[5]
March 9, 2018 Kristian Saucier United States District Court for the District of Connecticut August 19, 2016 One year in prison Unauthorized possession and retention of national defense information Saucier was given an other-than-honorable discharge from the Navy.[6] At sentencing, Saucier unsuccessfully argued for probation rather than imprisonment on the basis that Hillary Clinton was not indicted for her email controversy.[7]
April 13, 2018 Lewis "Scooter" Libby United States District Court for the District of Columbia June 14, 2007 30 months of prison, two years of probation, and a $250,000 fine Perjury and obstruction of justice Convicted in connection with the CIA leak scandal. Pardoned following an earlier commutation by President George W. Bush in July 2007.[8][9][10]
May 24, 2018 Jack Johnson United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois September 14, 1920 One year and one day in prison Violation of the Mann Act Convicted by an all-white jury in 1913 for traveling with his white girlfriend. It was then illegal to transport women across state lines for "immoral" purposes.[11][12][13][14]
May 31, 2018 Dinesh D'Souza United States District Court for the Southern District of New York September 23, 2014 Five years of probation, eight months of supervision in a halfway house, and a $30,000 fine Campaign finance violations In 2014, D'Souza pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign contributions to the 2012 Senate campaign of his friend, Wendy Long.[15][16][17]
July 10, 2018
  • Dwight Lincoln Hammond, Jr.
  • Steven Dwight Hammond
United States District Court for the District of Oregon October 7, 2015 Five years in prison Arson Father and son were convicted of arson in 2012. While initially sentenced to time served, their sentence was increased in 2015 to the mandatory 5-year minimum term under federal law.[18] The increased sentence triggered protests which culminated in the armed occupation of a wildlife refuge.[19] The Hammonds had rejected the protesters' assistance.[19][20][21]


Republican President Donald Trump has issued four commutations as of July 10, 2018:

Date of Pardon Name Court Sentencing date Sentence Offense Notes
December 20, 2017 Sholom Rubashkin United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa June 22, 2010 27-year prison term, 5 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $27 million Bank fraud The commutation does not vacate Rubashkin's conviction, and it leaves in place a term of supervised release and a substantial restitution obligation, which were also part of his sentence. Rubashkin was released 19 years earlier than planned.[22][23]
June 6, 2018 Alice Marie Johnson United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee March 21, 1997 Life sentence Conspiracy to possess cocaine, attempted possession of cocaine, money laundering First-time, non-violent drug offender. Johnson's sentence was commuted following a meeting between Trump and Kim Kardashian.[24][25][26][27][28][29] Johnson had served more than 21 years in prison; Trump's commutation allowed her to be released from incarceration immediately.
July 10, 2018 Dwight and Steven Hammond In addition to the full pardon on the same day (see above), Trump issued commutations of the Hammonds' prison sentences to time served, and ordered their immediate release.[30][31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "USDOJ: Office of the Pardon Attorney". USDOJ.
  2. ^ a b "USDOJ: Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Executive Clemency". USDOJ.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Executive Clemency | PARDON | Department of Justice". Retrieved 2017-01-28.
  5. ^ Hirschfeld, Julie; Haberman, Maggie (August 25, 2017). "Trump Pardons Joe Arpaio, Who Became Face of Crackdown on Illegal Immigration".
  6. ^ Lindsey Bever, Trump compared a Navy man's crime to Clinton's email scandal. Now that sailor wants a pardon., The Washington Post. (January 26, 2017). Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  7. ^ Olson, Wyatt (March 9, 2018). "Trump pardons sailor convicted of photographing sub's nuclear propulsion system". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  8. ^ Calia, Mike; Pramuk, Jacob (13 April 2018). "President Trump pardons former Cheney chief of staff Scooter Libby".
  9. ^ "Trump Pardons Scooter Libby in a Case That Mirrors His Own". The New York Times. 2018-04-13.
  10. ^ "Trump pardons ex-Cheney aide Scooter Libby". CNN. 2018-04-13.
  11. ^ "Trump pardons late boxer Jack Johnson". Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  12. ^ "Trump Pardons Jack Johnson, Heavyweight Boxing Champion". The New York Times. 2018-05-24.
  13. ^ "Trump posthumously pardons heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson". CNN. 2018-05-24.
  14. ^ "Boxer Jack Johnson is posthumously pardoned by President Trump". The Washington Post. 2018-05-24.
  15. ^ "Trump pardons conservative pundit Dinesh D'Souza, suggests others also could receive clemency". The Washington Post. 2018-05-31.
  16. ^ "Trump to Pardon Pundit Dinesh D'Souza for Campaign Finance Violation". Bloomberg. 2018-05-31.
  17. ^ "Dinesh D'Souza, Pardoned by Trump, Claims Victory Over Obama Administration". The New York Times. 2018-06-01.
  18. ^ Salama, Vivian (July 10, 2018). "President Trump Grants Pardons for Oregon Ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  19. ^ a b Stack, Liam (January 2, 2016). "Militiamen Occupy Oregon Wildlife Refuge in Protest of Ranchers' Prison Terms". The New York Times. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Breaking News: Sholom Rubashkin Has Been Freed From Prison". 20 December 2017.
  23. ^
  24. ^ Baker, Peter (June 6, 2018). "Trump Offers Clemency to Imprisoned Woman After Being Lobbied by Kim Kardashian West". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  25. ^ Diamond, Jeremy; Collins, Kaitlan (June 6, 2018). "Trump commutes sentence of Alice Marie Johnson". CNN. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  26. ^ "Trump has commuted the life sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a woman whose case was championed by Kim Kardashian". The Washington Post. 2018-06-06.
  27. ^ "Trump commutes life sentence for drug offender backed by Kim Kardashian West". Chicago Sun Times. 2018-06-06.
  28. ^ "Trump Commutes Sentence of Drug Offender Championed by Kardashian". Bloomberg. 2018-06-06.
  29. ^ "Trump grants clemency to woman after Kim Kardashian pressed her case". The Hill. 2018-06-06.
  30. ^
  31. ^

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