President Trump Donald John TrumpNapolitano claims Trump violated separation of powers 3 times in last week Work on surprise medical bills goes into overdrive Trump pardons media tycoon, forms the GOP leader of California State Assembly MORE has drawn criticism for issuing a string of pardons and commutations since taking office, an executive power traditionally used near the end of a presidency.
Critics argue that Trump is abusing his powers in order to settle political scores and reward staunch allies. The White House counters that it's correcting perceived injustices.
Trump's first pardon was for former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio before the controversial figure served any jail time.
Arpaio was convicted in July 201
In announcing the pardon, the White House praised Arpaio's work "protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration. "
Trump's decision received blowback from Democrats and civil rights groups who argued that the pardon gift cover to allegations Arpaio had racially profiled Latinos. It also raised questions about the politics of the process as Arpaio was an early supporter of Trump's 2016 candidacy.
The president's first commuted sentence was for Sholom Rubashkin, the former CEO of in Iowa co-processing plant who was serving a 27-year sentence for numerous financial crimes.
Rubashkin served eight years of his sentence when Trump announced the commutation in December 2017.
Several members of Congress, as well as four attorney general, had reached out to the White House to urge Trump to commute Rubashkin's sentence. Advocates noted he was a first-time, nonviolent offender
Kristian Mark Saucier
Trump pardoned Saucier in March 2018 after the former Navy sailor served jail time for abuse of information by taking pictures onboard a nuclear submarine.
His attorneys cited former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham ClintonFrustrated GOP senators because from Trump on Iran Progressive group targets Susan Collins on Trump judicial pick Poll: Biden leads Trump by double digits in Pennsylvania MORE 's abuse or classified information as part of Saucier' s defense. Trump invoked Saucier's case during the 2016 campaign and after taking office.
After a May 2016 guilty plea followed by incarceration, Saucier was released in September 2017, about six months before Trump pardoned him.
Days before the announcement, Saucier appeared on "Fox & Friends" to make his case. The president is known to watch the Fox News morning show
Lewis "Scooter" Libby
Libby, who was chief of staff to vice president Dick Cheney, was convicted or perjury and obstruction of
Former President George W. Bush commuted Libby's prison sentence but never offered him a full pardon.
19659004] Trump's April 2018 pardon raised alarms among Democrats and ethics watchdog groups, as it came in the midst of special counsel Robert Mueller Robert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE 's probe into Russia' s interference in the presidential election, which ended about a year later.
Democrats suggested Trump was attempting to send a message that he would take care of allies at the end of the investiga.
The posthumous pardon of heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson was one of Trump's lesser than Trump conspired with the Russian government and did not determine whether the president obstructed justice. -controversial decisions
Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion of the world, was convicted by an all-white jury in 1913 for transporting a woman across state lines for immoral purposes, which was illegal under the Mann Act. Johnson served a year in prison and was released in 1921. She died in 1946.
Trump announced the pardon in May 2018, when he was joined by actor Sylvester Stallone and previous heavyweight champions.
Dinesh D ' Souza
Conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, who has written books targeting Clinton and forms President Obama, received a pardon last summer after he pleaded guilty in 2014 to making illegal campaign contributions.
D'Souza's case was a cause célèbre for many on the right. Trump insisted that he'd never have been with D'Souza but that had heard about his case in the media.
after receiving the pardon. Like Trump, it was the unfounded conspiracy that Obama was not born in the United States. Obama was born in Hawaii.
Alice Marie Johnson Alice Marie Johnson, a 62-year-old great-grandmother, had her life sentence commuted after Kim Kardashian West Kimberly (Kim) Noel Kardashian WestKim Kardashian is the hero that criminal justice reform needs Megyn Kelly to sit down with Kardashians for first NBC interview NRA on Kim Kardashian robbery: 'How is that possible?' MORE raised her case with the president
Johnson had been convicted on nonviolent drug and money laundering charges and served here in an Alabama prison. Her release went viral as she thanked Trump and Kardashian West, wife of vocal Trump supporter Kanye West Kanye Omari West Kanye West has renounced politics but damage is already done, 'says former MSNBC host Kim Kardashian poll has more votes Though Iowa caucuses Hillary: I 'desperately' want a phone like Kim Kardashian's for selfies MORE
Johnson later emerged as a key figure in Trump's push to enact criminal justice reform. She attended the State of the Union and celebrated the passage of the First Step Act, which reduces mandatory minimum sentences in certain instances and provides additional resources for inmates.
Dwight and Steven Hammond
Trump pardoned Dwight Hammond and his son Steve, two Oregon ranchers who were at the center of the federal government over land ownership, in July 2018.
Their conviction for arson led to a 40-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016. The Hammonds distanced themselves from the ensuing violence
In announcing the pardon, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sarah Elizabeth SandersLive coverage: House panel moves forward with Barr contempt vote Mueller's facts vs Trump's spin Trump says he was called 'the greatest hostage negotiator this country has ever had' Sanders called the pair's five-year prison sentences "unjust." Conservation groups argued by the administration were violent extremists
Trump this month pardoned an ex-Army first lieutenant accused of murdering Ali Mansur Mohamed, and unarmed Iraqi man, during an interrogation in 2008.
Behenna, who hails from Oklahoma, was sentenced in 2009 to 15 years in prison, and later paroled in 2014. In pardoning Behenna, Trump cited support from Oklahoma's attorney general and top military brass.
The pardon drew criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union, which said it was an endorsement of war crimes.
Trump this month also pardoned Conrad Black, a billionaire media mogul convicted in 2007 on charges related to embezzlement and obstruction of justice. In a statement, the White House said Black was "entirely deserving" of his pardon, pointing to high-profile figures who have vouched for his character, including Henry Kissinger and Elton John.
Black has been a vocal supporter of Trump, writing columns to the administration and authoring a book called "Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other." He also at one time was involved in a plan to build a Trump Tower in Chicago.
"The idea that I would commit to crime is a nonsense, ”Black reportedly told the BBC following his pardon, adding that he was“ rebuilding my fortune, life goes on, this is a great occasion. ”
Patrick Nolan  Trump pardoned Nolan, the former Republican leader of the California State Assembly, on the same day as Black.
While serving as a state legislator, Nolan was charged with accepting illegal campaign donations after being caught in an FBI sting operation. He pleaded guilty, resigned his seat and served 25 months in prison. The White House called Nolan's decision to plead guilty to "difficult" one made in order to help his family.
Now an advocate for prisoner rights, Nolan played a key role in helping White House senior adviser and trump son-in law Jared Kushner Jared Corey Kushner bid to launch uphill bid to overhaul immigration laws Graham unveils bill to overhaul asylum laws GOP officials unsatisfied with some answers from Kushner during immigration meeting: report MORE push through a criminal justice reform bill last year. According to The Washington Post, Nolan appeared alongside Kushner during a White House ceremony celebrating the passage of the legislation.