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Muhammad Ali’s lawyer responds to Trump: ‘A pardon is unnecessary’

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An attorney for Muhammad Ali said Friday that President Trump’s suggestion that he may pardon the late boxing champion was “unnecessary.”

“We appreciate President Trump’s sentiment, but a pardon is unnecessary,” Ron Tweel said in a statement. “The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Muhammad Ali in a unanimous decision in 1971.

“There is no conviction from which a pardon is needed,” he added.

{mosads}Ali, who died in 2016, was sentenced to five years in prison on draft evasion charges after refusing to be drafted into the U.S. military in 1967, citing religious objections.

Ali never went to prison, and in 1971 the Supreme Court overturned his conviction.

Trump said Friday that he was “very seriously” considering the pardon.

“He was not very popular then; his memory is very popular now,” Trump told reporters. “I’m thinking about Muhammad Ali. I’m thinking about that very seriously.”

Trump has issued several pardons in recent weeks, including to conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza and the late boxer Jack Johnson.

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