In what may have been his final official act as president of the United States, Donald Trump issued a pardon to the ex-husband of his longtime on-screen supporter at Fox News, Judge Jeanine Pirro. The White House released Pirro’s name in the final hour of Trump’s term in office, just as Air Force One was landing in West Palm Beach.
Albert Pirro, 73, a prominent New York attorney who previously represented Trump in several real estate transactions, was accused of purchasing over $1 million in personal luxury items such as real estate, cars, and art, which he then deducted from his taxes as business expenses.
Indicted in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) on 33 federal criminal charges, Pirro was convicted in 2000 on several of those counts including conspiracy to defraud the U.S., tax evasion, fraud, and making false statements, serving nearly a year in prison.
Following his indictment, the New York Times in 1999 wrote of Pirro’s connections to Trump:
Albert Pirro, a self-made millionaire, is the county’s most successful real estate lawyer, the person Donald Trump, or Viacom or Home Depot have sought out when they want to build in Westchester. He is a bountiful contributor to Republicans and in recent years has become a muscular lobbyist in Albany, earning more than $500,000 in 1996 for helping Mr. Trump’s Atlantic City operation fight competition from a proposal for legalized gambling in the Catskills.
Albert Pirro’s conviction coincided with Jeanine Pirro’s time as Westchester County district attorney.
Six years after his conviction and disbarment, Albert in 2007 was reinstated as an attorney.
Jeanine Pirro has been one of President Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters, consistently defending him on her Saturday night Fox News show Justice with Judge Jeanine.
As previously reported by Law&Crime, Trump had threatened to nominate Jeannine Pirro as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Early Wednesday morning, Trump issued a wave of pardons and commutations to 143 people, including several of his political allies and cronies.
Pirro was not on the original and much-anticipated list of those being granted clemency, which included: former White House strategist Steve Bannon (accused of defrauding Trump supporters who donated to “We Build the Wall”); rapper Lil Wayne (Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.); rapper Kodak Black (Bill Kapri); former RNC Finance Chairman Elliott Broidy; accused stalker Ken Kurson (Jared Kushner’s “media savant” friend who was briefly a speechwriter for Trump); Paul Erickson (the former boyfriend of Russian agent Maria Butina; Kellyanne Conway supported the full pardon); former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (commutation supported by Alveda King, Alice Johnson, Diamond and Silk, and Paula White); former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski, who pleaded guilty to stealing trade secrets (Peter Thiel, among others, supported the pardon); “Operation Varsity Blues” dad Robert Zangrillo; Casey Urlacher (the brother of Trump supporting NFL legend Brian Urlacher); former GOP congressman Rick Renzi; and former GOP congressman Randall “Duke” Cunningham.
The “Tiger King,” Joe Exotic, was not on the list; nor was Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange. Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was rumored to be on the list but ultimately was not.
[image via YouTube screengrab]
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