Trump pardons ex-NYPD commissioner Kerik, financier Milken

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests MORE on Tuesday announced he has pardoned former New York Police Department Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who served three years in prison on federal tax fraud charges, as well as financier Michael Milken, known for pioneering high-yield “junk” bonds.

Kerik, who served as NYPD commissioner during a period that included the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, pleaded guilty in 2009 in the Southern District of New York to charges of tax fraud and making false statements in connection with $250,000 he accepted from Israeli businessman Eitan Wertheimer without reporting.

Kerik, who was released in 2013, is a frequent Fox News guest and appeared on “Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonComcast shareholders reject proposals for outside sexual harassment investigation at NBC Cable news audience numbers jump amid coronavirus, protests Tucker Carlson tees off on Trump, Kushner: 'People will not forgive weakness' MORE Tonight,” a show frequently watched by the president, on Monday evening.


“There are no words to express my appreciation and gratitude to President Trump. With the exception of the birth of my children, today is one of the greatest days in my life — being made a full and whole American citizen again,” Kerik said in a statement Tuesday.

“Going to prison is like dying with your eyes open. Its aftermath of collateral consequences and the permanent loss of many of your civil and constitutional rights are personally devastating,” added Kerik, who also oversaw the New York City Department of Corrections from 1998 to 2000.

“Since his conviction, he has focused on improving the lives of others, including as a passionate advocate for criminal justice and prisoner reentry reform,” the White House said in a statement.


Milken, meanwhile, pleaded guilty in 1990 to six counts of securities and tax violations and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, later reduced to two years for his cooperation with federal officials.

The financier, who became a symbol of the scandals within the financial industry, became a major funder of cancer research after his release.

“Mr. Milken’s philanthropy has been particularly influential in the fight against prostate cancer and has been credited with saving many lives,” the White House said.

The pardons were announced the same day Trump announced the commutation of the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), who was convicted in 2011 of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

On Tuesday, Trump also pardoned former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who pleaded guilty in 1998 to failing to report that former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards (D) extorted $400,000 from him in exchange for a casino license.