President Donald J. Trump and the Clemency Power: Is Claiming “Unfair” Treatment for Pardon Recipients the New “Fake News”?

  • Jeffrey CrouchEmail author
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency book series (EAP)


President Donald J. Trump commuted four prison sentences and pardoned seven offenders in the first half of his first term in office. He often justified his decision to grant mercy as his way to address “unfair” treatment by the federal judicial system. The word “unfair” has been repeated so frequently that one wonders whether it may be a calculated branding decision, much like Trump redefined “fake news” to describe not just untrue stories, but any unfavorable media reports. In this chapter, Jeffrey Crouch considers each of Trump’s clemency decisions and then discuss the “self-pardon” question. He concludes with a look at several clemency reform proposals.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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