List of people pardoned or granted clemency by the president of the United States

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President Gerald Ford announces his decision to pardon former president Richard Nixon, September 8, 1974, in an Oval Office address to the nation.

This is a partial list of people pardoned or granted clemency by the president of the United States. The plenary power to grant a pardon or a reprieve is granted to the president by Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution; the only limits mentioned in the Constitution are that pardons are limited to federal offenses, and that they cannot affect an impeachment process: "The president shall ... have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment".[1]

Though pardons have been challenged in the courts, and the power to grant them challenged by Congress, the courts have consistently declined to put limits on the president's discretion. The president can issue a full pardon, reversing a criminal conviction (along with its legal effects) as if it never happened. A pardon can be issued from the time an offense is committed, and can even be issued after the full sentence has been served. The president can issue a reprieve, commuting a criminal sentence, lessening its severity, its duration, or both while leaving a record of the conviction in place. Additionally, the president can make a pardon conditional, or vacate a conviction while leaving parts of the sentence in place, like the payment of fines or restitution.[1][2]

Pardons granted by presidents from George Washington until Grover Cleveland's first term (1885–89) were handwritten by the president; thereafter, pardons were prepared for the president by administrative staff requiring only that the president sign it.[3] The records of these presidential acts were openly available for public inspection until 1934. In 1981 the Office of the Pardon Attorney was created and records from President George H. W. Bush forward are listed.[4]


President Pardons Notes
George Washington 16
John Adams 20
Thomas Jefferson 119
James Madison 196
James Monroe 419
John Quincy Adams 183
Andrew Jackson 386
Martin Van Buren 168
William Henry Harrison 0
John Tyler 209
James K. Polk 268
Zachary Taylor 38
Millard Fillmore 170
Franklin Pierce 142
James Buchanan 150
Abraham Lincoln 343
Andrew Johnson 654 Excludes thousands of pardons for ex-Confederates
Ulysses S. Grant 1332
Rutherford B. Hayes 893
James A. Garfield 0
Chester A. Arthur 337
Grover Cleveland 1107 Estimate
Benjamin Harrison 613
William McKinley 918 Estimate
Theodore Roosevelt 981 Estimate
William Howard Taft 758
Woodrow Wilson 2480
Warren G. Harding 800
Calvin Coolidge 1545
Herbert Hoover 1385
Franklin D. Roosevelt 3687
Harry S. Truman 2044
Dwight D. Eisenhower 1157
John F. Kennedy 575
Lyndon B. Johnson 1187
Richard Nixon 926
Gerald Ford 409
Jimmy Carter 566 Excludes over 200,000 pardoned for Vietnam draft evasion
Ronald Reagan 406
George H. W. Bush 77
Bill Clinton 459
George W. Bush 200
Barack Obama 1927
Donald Trump 237
Joe Biden 9 Excludes 6,500 pardoned for simple possession of marijuana

George Washington[edit]

President George Washington pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 16 people.[3] Among them are:

  • Philip Vigol (or Wigle) and John Mitchel, convicted of treason for their roles in the Whiskey Rebellion

John Adams[edit]

Federalist president John Adams pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 20 people.[3] Among them are:

Thomas Jefferson[edit]

Democratic-Republican president Thomas Jefferson pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 119 people.[3] One of his first acts upon taking office was to issue a general pardon for any person convicted under the Sedition Act.[5] Among them are:

James Madison[edit]

Democratic-Republican president James Madison pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 196 people.[3] Among them are:

James Monroe[edit]

Democratic-Republican president James Monroe pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 419 people.[3] Among them are:

  • Numerous individuals convicted of piracy.[7]

John Quincy Adams[edit]

Democratic-Republican president John Quincy Adams pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 183 people.[3] Among them are:

  • Captain L. O. Helland – arrested for having more passengers on board the vessel (Restauration) than were allowed by American law; pardoned in 1825
  • Wekau and Chickhonsic – Ho-Chunk leaders pardoned for their role in the Winnebago War[8]

Andrew Jackson[edit]

Democratic president Andrew Jackson pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 386 people.[3] Among them is:

  • George Wilson – convicted of robbing the United States mails. Strangely, Wilson refused to accept the pardon. The case went before the Supreme Court, and in United States v. Wilson the court stated: "A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete without acceptance. It may then be rejected by the person to whom it is tendered; and if it is rejected, we have discovered no power in this court to force it upon him." While Wilson refused the pardon, he avoided being hanged unlike his accomplice who was. A report in The National Gazette of Philadelphia dated January 14, 1841, suggests that he was in prison for ten years until released. He received another pardon from President Martin Van Buren, which he accepted. However, the Smithsonian magazine has written that Wilson was hanged as a result of refusing the pardon.[9]

Martin Van Buren[edit]

Democratic president Martin Van Buren pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 168 people.[3] Among them are:

William Henry Harrison[edit]

Whig president William Henry Harrison was one of only two presidents who issued no pardons, the other being James A. Garfield. This was due to Harrison's death shortly after taking office.

John Tyler[edit]

Whig president John Tyler pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 209 people.[3] Among them are:

  • Alexander William Holmes – sailor convicted of voluntary manslaughter (U.S. v. Holmes); pardoned

James K. Polk[edit]

Democratic president James K. Polk pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 268 people.[3] Among them are:

Zachary Taylor[edit]

Whig president Zachary Taylor pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 38 people.[3]

Millard Fillmore[edit]

Whig president Millard Fillmore pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 170 people.[3] Among them are:

  • Daniel Drayton and Edward Sayres – convicted in the Pearl incident (transporting slaves to freedom) in 1848; pardoned

Franklin Pierce[edit]

Democratic president Franklin Pierce pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 142 people.[3]

  • Noah Hanson – a free black man who was tried and convicted of assisting slaves to escape, convicted in 1851; pardoned in 1854; only known presidential pardon of a Black person for Underground Railroad activities.[10]

James Buchanan[edit]

Democratic president James Buchanan pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 150 people.[3] Among them are:

Abraham Lincoln[edit]

Republican president Abraham Lincoln pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 343 people.[3] Among them are:

Andrew Johnson[edit]

President Andrew Johnson pardoning Rebels at the White House, sketched by Stanley Fox

Democratic president Andrew Johnson pardoned about 7,000 people in the "over $20,000" class (taxable property over $20,000) by May 4, 1866. More than 600 prominent North Carolinians were pardoned just before the election of 1864.[17] President Andrew Johnson pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 654 people.[3] Among them are:

Ulysses S. Grant[edit]

Republican president Ulysses S. Grant pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 1,332 people.[3] Among them are:

Rutherford B. Hayes[edit]

Republican president Rutherford B. Hayes pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 893 people.[3] Among them is:

James A. Garfield[edit]

Republican president James A. Garfield was one of only two presidents who issued no pardons, the other being William Henry Harrison. This is because Garfield only served a few months before being assassinated.

Chester A. Arthur[edit]

Republican president Chester A. Arthur pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 337 people.[3] Among them is:

Grover Cleveland[edit]

Democratic president Grover Cleveland pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 1,107 (est.) people during his two, non-consecutive terms.[3] Among them are:

Benjamin Harrison[edit]

Republican president Benjamin Harrison pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 613 people.[3] Among them are:

Grover Cleveland[edit]

See list under first term.

William McKinley[edit]

Republican president William McKinley pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 918 (est.) people.[3] Among them are:

  • Alexander McKenzieNorth Dakota political activist convicted of contempt of court in 1901; pardoned after spending three months in prison
  • Charles Chilton Moore – Atheist newspaper publisher jailed for sending obscene material in the mail in 1899; sentence commuted after six months in prison

Theodore Roosevelt[edit]

Republican president Theodore Roosevelt pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 981 (est.) people.[3][20] Among them are:

  • Servillano Aquino – Filipino general received death sentence in 1902 for anti-American activities in the Philippines; pardoned after 2 years
  • Al Jennings – former train robber sentenced to life in prison for robbery in 1899, freed on technicality three years later; pardoned in 1904
  • Stephen A. Douglas Puter – convicted of land fraud in 1906; pardoned after 18 months so he could turn state's evidence

William Howard Taft[edit]

Republican president William Howard Taft pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 758 people.[3] Among them are:

  • John Hicklin Hall – attorney and politician convicted in 1908 for his role in the Oregon land fraud scandal; pardoned
  • Charles W. Morse – ice shipping magnate convicted in 1909 of violations of federal banking laws; pardoned in 1912 due to ill health (later found to be feigned)
  • William Van Schaick – steamboat captain convicted for criminal negligence for the General Slocum steamship disaster of 1904, pardoned after 3+12 years in prison

Woodrow Wilson[edit]

Democratic president Woodrow Wilson pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 2,480 people.[3] Among them are:

  • George Burdick – a New York newspaper editor, who had refused to testify in federal court regarding the sources used in his article concerning the collection of customs duties. He pleaded the 5th Amendment; President Wilson then granted him a full pardon for all of his federal offenses, which he refused. He continued to plead the 5th, at which he was sentenced by a federal judge for contempt. It was then that the Supreme Court (in Burdick v. United States) reinforced the necessity of accepting a pardon to be valid; the federal judge had imprisoned Burdick on the grounds that he was claiming falsely his need for protection against self-incrimination.[21]
  • Frederick KrafftSocialist political candidate convicted for alleged violation of the Espionage Act in June 1918, pardoned after serving nine months. Only person convicted under this law to receive a full executive pardon.
  • Mike Boyle – Convicted before Judge Landis for violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and was sentenced to one year's imprisonment. He served four months and was pardoned.[22]

Warren G. Harding[edit]

Republican president Warren G. Harding pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 800 people.[3] Among them are:

Calvin Coolidge[edit]

Republican president Calvin Coolidge pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 1,545 people.[3] Among them are:

Herbert Hoover[edit]

Republican president Herbert Hoover pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 1,385 people.[3] Among them are:

Franklin D. Roosevelt[edit]

Democratic president Franklin D. Roosevelt granted 3,687 pardons in his four terms in office.[3] Among them are:

Harry S. Truman[edit]

Democratic president Harry S. Truman pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 2,044 people.[23] Among them are:

Dwight D. Eisenhower[edit]

Republican president Dwight D. Eisenhower pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 1,157 people.[23] Among them is:

  • Maurice L. Schick – military court-martial for brutal murder in 1954; death sentence commuted to life imprisonment in 1960, with the condition that he would never be released. Legal challenge went to the Supreme Court, questioning the constitutionality of the punishment "Life Imprisonment Without Parole". Decided in Schick v. Reed that to be so sentenced was constitutional.

It is important to note that "until the Eisenhower Administration, each pardon grant was evidenced by its own separate warrant signed by the president. President Eisenhower began the practice of granting pardons by the batch, through the device of a "master warrant" listing all of the names of those pardoned, which also delegated to the Attorney General (or, later, the Deputy Attorney General or Pardon Attorney) authority to sign individual warrants evidencing the president's action."[25]

John F. Kennedy[edit]

Democratic president John F. Kennedy pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 575 people.[23] Among them are:

Lyndon B. Johnson[edit]

Democratic president Lyndon B. Johnson pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 1,187 people.[23] Among them are:

Richard Nixon[edit]

Republican president Richard Nixon pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 926 people.[23] Among them are:

  • Jimmy Hoffa – prominent labor union leader convicted of fraud and bribery (tax evasion) in 1964; sentence commuted (with conditions) on December 23, 1971
  • Angelo DeCarlo – convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and extortion in March 1970; was pardoned in late 1972 due to poor health, died on October 20, 1973.

Gerald Ford[edit]

Republican president Gerald Ford pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 409 people.[23] Among them are:

  • Richard Nixon – granted a full and unconditional pardon in 1974 just before he could be indicted in the Watergate scandal. This was the only time that a U.S. president received a pardon.
  • Ernest C. Brace – pardoned of his 1961 court-martial from the United States Marine Corps in light of his almost eight years as a POW in Vietnam.[26]
  • Iva Toguri D'Aquino, aka – "Tokyo Rose" – convicted of treason in 1949, paroled in 1956. She was pardoned on January 19, 1977, Ford's last day in office. The only U.S. citizen convicted of treason during World War II to be pardoned.
  • Robert E. Lee – Confederate general during the Civil War, full rights of citizenship were posthumously restored
  • Vietnam war draft resisters – Ford offered conditional amnesty to over 50,000 draft resisters.
  • Maurice L. Schick – military court-martial for brutal murder; commuted to life with the possibility of parole.[27]

Jimmy Carter[edit]

Democratic president Jimmy Carter pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 566 people,[23] and in addition to that pardoned over 200,000 Vietnam War draft evaders.[28] Among them are:

Ronald Reagan[edit]

Republican president Ronald Reagan pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 406 people.[23] Among them are:

George H. W. Bush[edit]

Republican president George H. W. Bush pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 77 people.[23] Among them are:

Bill Clinton[edit]

Democratic president Bill Clinton pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 459 people.[23] Among them are:

  • Almon Glenn Braswell – Nutritional supplement magnate, convicted of mail fraud and perjury in 1983; pardoned
  • Henry Cisneros – Clinton's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count for lying to the FBI in 1999 about payments to a mistress, and was fined $10,000.
  • Roger Clinton, Jr.Half-brother of Bill Clinton. After serving a year in federal prison (1985–86) for cocaine possession.
  • John DeutchDirector of Central Intelligence, former Provost and University Professor, MIT. He had agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for mishandling government secrets on January 19, 2001, but President Clinton pardoned him in his last day in office, two days before the Justice Department could file the case against him.
  • Edward Downe, Jr. – convicted of wire fraud, filing false income tax returns, and securities fraud in 1992; pardoned
  • Elizam Escobar – Puerto Rican artist and activist, convicted of seditious conspiracy in 1980; pardoned
  • FALN – commuted the sentences of 16 members of FALN, a Puerto Rican clandestine paramilitary organization operating mostly in Chicago and New York City
  • Henry O. Flipper – The first black West Point cadet was found guilty of "conduct unbecoming an officer" in 1882. Posthumously pardoned.
  • Patty Hearst – Convicted of bank robbery in 1976 after being kidnapped and allegedly brainwashed. Prison term commuted by Jimmy Carter and was released from prison in 1979. She was fully pardoned by Clinton in 2001.
  • Rick Hendrick – NASCAR team owner & champion; convicted of mail fraud in 1997; pardoned
  • Susan McDougal – business partner with Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton in the failed Whitewater land deal. Guilty of contempt of court, she served her entire sentence starting in 1998 and was then pardoned.
  • Samuel Loring Morison – former Naval intelligence officer, convicted of espionage and theft of government property in 1985; pardoned
  • Mel Reynolds – Former Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Illinois. Convicted of bank fraud and obstruction of justice in 1997; sentence was commuted.
  • Marc Rich, Pincus Green – business partners; indicted by U.S. Attorney on charges of tax evasion and illegal trading with Iran in 1983 and fled the country that year. Pardoned in 2001 after Rich's ex-wife, Denise Eisenberg Rich, made large donations to the Democratic Party and the Clinton Foundation.
  • Dan Rostenkowski – Former Democratic member of the US House of Representatives from Illinois, indicted for his role in the Congressional Post Office scandal and pleaded guilty to mail fraud in 1996. Served his entire 17-month sentence, then pardoned in December 2000.
  • Fife Symington IIIGovernor of Arizona convicted of bank fraud in 1997, the conviction was overturned in 1999; subsequently pardoned.[32]
  • Susan Rosenberg – a former radical activist and domestic terrorist of the early 1970s, was convicted of illegal explosives possession in 1984, commuted on January 20, 2001.

George W. Bush[edit]

Republican president George W. Bush pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 200 people.[23] Among them were:

Barack Obama[edit]

Democratic president Barack Obama pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the conviction of 1,927 people.[37] Among them were:

  • James Cartwright, retired US Marine Corps four-star general, he pleaded guilty to giving false statements to federal investigators in 2016 and was awaiting sentencing. Pardoned on January 17, 2017.[38]
  • Dwight J. Loving, U.S. Army private sentenced to death in Texas for murdering two taxi drivers in 1988. Commuted to life without parole on January 17, 2017.[39]
  • Chelsea Manning, U.S. Army whistleblower convicted by court-martial in July 2013, sentenced to 35 years in prison for providing classified documents to WikiLeaks. Commuted on January 17, 2017.[40]
  • Willie McCovey, professional baseball player, pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 1995 and received two years probation and a $5,000 fine. Pardoned on January 17, 2017.[41]
  • Ian Schrager, former co-owner of the famed dance club Studio 54, pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 1979 and received three and a half years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Pardoned on January 17, 2017.[42]
  • Oscar López Rivera, FALN member sentenced in 1981 to 55 years in prison for seditious conspiracy, use of force to commit robbery, interstate transportation of firearms, and conspiracy to transport explosives with intent to destroy government property, and subsequently to an additional 15 years for attempted escape in 1988. Commuted on January 17, 2017.[43]

Donald Trump[edit]

Republican president Donald Trump pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 237 people. Among them were:

Joe Biden[edit]

As of December 2022, Democratic president Joe Biden pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the following convictions:

  • On April 26, 2022, Biden issued 3 full pardons and 75 commutations.[85]
  • On October 1, 2022, Biden granted clemency to two Venezuelans, nephews of Nicolás Maduro's wife involved in the Narcosobrinos affair, as part of a prisoner exchange. Among the released American detainees were five oil executives, part of the group known as the Citgo Six.[86]
  • On October 6, 2022, Biden pardoned all those convicted of what was previously the federal offense of simple possession of marijuana, totaling 6,500, via Proclamation 10467.[87] This excluded non-U.S. citizens and those who were considered illegal immigrants at the time of their arrest.[88][89]
  • On December 30, 2022, Biden issued 6 pardons.[90]
    • Beverly Ann Ibn-Tamas, for second-degree murder in alleged self-defense against her husband.
    • Charlie Byrnes Jackson, Gary Parks Davis, Edward Lincoln De Coito III, and John Dix Nock III, for the illegal distribution of marijuana, cocaine, and whiskey.
    • Vincente Ray Flores, for consuming drugs while serving in the military.

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ Pfiffner, James. "Essays on Article II:Pardon Power". The Heritage Guide to The Constitution. Washington, D.C.: The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
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  4. ^ Clark, Josh (August 9, 2007). "How Presidential Pardons Work". Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  5. ^ Slack, Charles (2015). Liberty's First Crisis: Adams, Jefferson, and the Misfits Who Saved Free Speech. Atlantic Monthly Press. p. 232. ISBN 978-0802123428.
  6. ^ Ingersoll, Charles Jared (1852). History of the second war between the United States of America and Great Britain: declared by act of Congress, the 18th of June, 1812, and concluded by peace, the 15th of February, 1815. Vol. 2. Lippincott, Grambo & Co. pp. 82–83.
  7. ^ Preston, Daniel (2000). A Comprehensive Catalogue of the Correspondence and Papers of James Monroe [Two Volumes]. ABC-CLIO/Greenwood. pp. 788ff. ISBN 978-0-313-31426-1.
  8. ^ Hall, John W. (2009). Uncommon Defense: Indian Allies in the Black Hawk War. Harvard University Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-674-03518-8.
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  10. ^ "Sold – Only Known Presidential Pardon of a Black Person For Underground Railroad Activities". Raab Collection. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  11. ^ "President James Buchanan, on His Next to Last Day in Office, Pardons a Judge". Shapell Manuscript Collection. SMF.
  12. ^ "Abraham Lincoln: Deciding the Fate of 300 Indians Convicted of War Crimes in Minnesota's Great Sioux Uprising". June 12, 2006. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  13. ^ p. 34, Vallandigham, Clement Laird. The Trial Hon. Clement L. Vallandigham by a Military Commission: and the Proceedings Under His Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Circuit Court of the US for the Southern District of Ohio. Cincinnati, OH: Rickey and Carroll, 1863.
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  15. ^ Soodalter, Ron (December 15, 2013). "All in the Family". Opinionator. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
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  17. ^ Franklin, John Hope (1961). Reconstruction After the Civil War. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 33–34.
  18. ^ Johnson, Andrew. (December 25, 1868). Proclamation 179 – Granting Full Pardon and Amnesty for the Offense of Treason Against the United States During the Late Civil War. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  19. ^ Harrison, Benjamin (January 4, 1893). "Proclamation 346 – Granting Amnesty and Pardon for the Offense of Engaging in Polygamous or Plural Marriage to Members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints". Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  20. ^ More are listed at the Presidential pardons page at Almanac of Theodore Roosevelt.
  21. ^ United States Supreme Court. "Burdick v. United States 236 U.S. 79 (1915)".
  22. ^ "The Bulletin 15 May 1920 — Hoosier State Chronicles: Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Program".
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Presidential Clemency Statistics: 1900 to Present". US Department of Justice – Office of the Pardon Attorney. October 10, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  24. ^ "Proclamation 2762--Granting pardon to certain persons convicted of violating the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 as amended". National Archives. Office of the Federal Register (OFR). August 15, 2016. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  25. ^ Love, Margaret Colgate (2000). "Of Pardons, Politics and Collar Buttons: Reflections on the President's Duty to be Merciful". Fordham Urban Law Journal. 27 (5): 1491. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
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  30. ^ a b Ingram Chronicles, Forbes, June 9, 1999
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  53. ^ "Trump pardons conservative pundit Dinesh D'Souza, suggests others also could receive clemency". The Washington Post. May 31, 2018.
  54. ^ "Trump to Pardon Pundit Dinesh D'Souza for Campaign Finance Violation". Bloomberg. May 31, 2018.
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