Donald Trump Considering Pardon for Muhammad Ali


Ali's attorney responded in a statement that a pardon from Trump was unnecessary, citing the Supreme Court overturning the conviction in 1971. "I'm thinking about that very seriously and some others", Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for Canada where he will participate in a Group of Seven meeting.

Though Ali was convicted of evading the draft for the Vietnam War in 1967, the Supreme Court later overturned that decision in 1971.

On the heels of commuting the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson on Wednesday, President Trump said he was considering thousands of more pardons, even floating the possibility of pardoning the dead boxing great Muhammad Ali.

A spokesman for Ali thanked Trump but said a pardon isn't necessary. When asked why he made the decision not to join the armed services he said, "No, I am not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over".

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He said football players had "seen a lot of abuse" and "a lot of unfairness" and he wanted their input on his use of this executive power. Throwing out ideas for who he could pardon next, Trump at first teased reporters, saying he was thinking about pardoning somebody that people knew about and who was not popular at one time.

"This was quite a surprise to everybody this morning when we heard about it", he said Friday during a phone interview.

Trump made the weird offer regarding the iconic boxer - who died in 2016 - Friday - only to be shot down by Ali's estate soon afterwards.

But does Ali need a posthumous pardon?

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He was stripped of his heavyweight championship titles and boxing licenses, and convicted of draft evasion. Johnson was reunited with her family after 22 years in prison.

Trump has wielded his presidential pardon powers recently in ways that appear meant to dramatize his own complaints of being the victim of a "witch hunt" by USA prosecutors. The president has recently mooted pardons for lifestyle personality Martha Stewart and former governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich.

The US presidential pardon allows a sitting commander-in-chief to grant clemency for federal crimes.

Trump has been energized by his pardon power.

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In April, he issued a full pardon in April to I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney who was convicted of lying to investigators and obstruction of justice following the 2003 leak of the covert identity of Central Intelligence Agency officer Valerie Plame.