Administration

Trump considering pardon for boxing legend after call from Sylvester Stallone

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President Trump said Saturday he’s considering a posthumous pardon for boxer Jack Johnson at the urging of actor Sylvester Stallone.

“Sylvester Stallone called me with the story of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. His trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial,” Trump tweeted.

“Others have looked at this over the years, most thought it would be done, but yes, I am considering a Full Pardon!” he continued.

{mosads}Johnson was the first black heavyweight champion of the world. An all-white jury convicted him in 1913 for transporting a woman across state lines for “immoral purposes,” which was illegal under the Mann Act. 

Johnson served a year in prison and was released in 1921. He died in 1946.

Advocates for a pardon, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), have lobbied Johnson’s case for years, arguing that the conviction was racially motivated and has unfairly tarnished his legacy.

McCain first introduced legislation urging a pardon in 2004. Those resolutions were approved by both the House and Senate in the last Congress.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) also urged Trump on Saturday to act.

“For years @SenJohnMcCain and I have urged a Pardon for Jack Johnson. Pres. Obama wouldn’t do it. @POTUS Trump after talking with Sly Stallone now considering it,” King tweeted Saturday. “Would correct a terrible injustice.”

Johnson’s family has also sought a pardon from Trump, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Trump has pardoned two individuals in recent months

Trump last week pardoned I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the former chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who was convicted of lying to the FBI regarding the leak of the identity of an CIA agent.

In August, the president pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio after the sheriff had been found guilty of contempt of court when a Justice Department investigation found he racially profiled Latinos.

This story was updated at 6:20 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Jack Johnson John McCain Pete King presidential pardon Scooter Libby

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