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Trump grants posthumous pardon to Manhattan Project contributor

Trump grants posthumous pardon to Manhattan Project contributor
© Getty

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new tranche of endorsements DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food MORE on Thursday granted a posthumous pardon to Zay Jeffries, a metallurgist and mining engineer who contributed to the Manhattan Project, over his 1948 conviction for violating the Sherman Act.

A statement from the White House said that Jeffries's contributions to the U.S. military during World War II following his initial indictment on unlawful anticompetitive conduct merited a pardon for Jeffries, who was fined but never imprisoned for the conviction.

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"One of America’s leading scientists, Dr. Jeffries was crucial to the United States war effort in World War II. His efforts enabled the United States to develop artillery shells capable of piercing the armor of German tanks, and his contributions to the Manhattan Project helped end the war in the Pacific theater," the White House said.

"Although indicted in 1941, Dr. Jeffries proved vital to the war effort prompting Secretary of War Stimson to take the extraordinary step of requesting, with President Roosevelt’s approval, that the Attorney General defer any prosecution until after the war," the statement continued.

The Manhattan Project, the U.S. code name for the development of the first atomic bomb, is widely credited with ending the war in the Pacific Theater in 1945. Two atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, killing thousands.

Trump's interest in the case was spurred by Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Biden helps broker Senate deal on unemployment benefits Senate braces for 'God-awful,' 'stupid' session ahead of COVID-19 relief vote MORE (R-S.C.). Former Rep. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyPompeo rebukes Biden's new foreign policy The Hunter Biden problem won't go away Sunday shows preview: Joe Biden wins the 2020 election MORE (R-S.C.), now working with the White House in its defense against Democrats' impeachment efforts, also was involved in getting Jeffries's case before the president, according to the statement.