President Trump floats posthumous pardon for Muhammad Ali

Heather Diaz
June 12, 2018

President Trump said Friday he may grant a posthumous pardon to heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, adding to the list of high-profile celebrity pardons the president is openly considering. "The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Muhammad Ali in a unanimous decision in 1971".

Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, said Trump should reconsider his "anti-Muslim and Islamophobic policies and rhetoric" instead of pardoning Ali.

When Ali appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court for the final time in 1971, liberal stalwart Justice William Brennan convinced his colleagues to hear the case.

Trump has also said he is mulling pardons for lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, and Rod Blagojevich, a former IL governor convicted in 2009 of soliciting bribes for political appointments, including former president Barack Obama's vacant US Senate seat. "I'm thinking about Muhammed Ali", Trump said to assembled reporters before departing.

Trump has also pardoned Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, former Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff I. "They've seen a lot of abuse and they've seen a lot of unfairness", he said. 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. "I have an absolute right to pardon myself", he said, but doesn't need to do that because he did nothing wrong. He regained the boxing title in 1974. Trump just pardoned Jack Johnson, and he obviously has boxing, a sport he loves, on his mind. And now he's considering another legendary boxer for a pardon: Muhammad Ali, who died in 2016 of Parkinson's disease.

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Ali was convicted of draft evasion in 1967. Kim Kardashian visited the White House last week to ask Trump to consider pardoning Johnson. United States. Not only did the court clear Ali of any crimes, but President Jimmy Carter also pardoned all dodgers of the Vietnam War draft in 1977.

This news comes on the heels of the president commuting the prison sentence of Alice Marie Johnson on Wednesday.

Trump also said he strongly opposed USA involvement in Vietnam. "The power to pardon is a lovely thing".

He said if the players or the athletes have "a friend or people they know about who have been unfairly treated by the system, let me know".

And Trump recently pardoned conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, who was convicted of a campaign finance violation.

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