July 13, 2024
The President of the United States called. I was being pardoned, at last
For my friends, no explanation was ever necessary; for my enemies, none would ever have sufficed.
For my friends, no explanation was ever necessary; for my enemies, none would ever have sufficed.

The two counts for which I have just received a presidential pardon, and of which I was “convicted” in 2011, after the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously vacated them only to have a self-serving appellate judge reinstate them, were for wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

The alleged fraud was reception of $285,000 in my office in Toronto while I was in England, from our American company, which was approved by independent directors, referred to in public filings of the corporation, but which the company secretary had not completely formalized, in what the trial judge correctly regarded as a clerical error on the secretary’s part. The reinvention of this crime enabled the appellate panel to whom the Supreme Court remanded the vacated counts “to assess the gravity of their own errors” to resuscitate a count of obstruction of justice against me. This consisted of my removal of boxes of personal papers and material that had already been furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which I took out under security cameras I had had installed, with the approval of the acting president of the company and the principal member present of the court-appointed inspector, as I vacated my office of 27 years from a building I chiefly owned, on an unjust local court order of a publicity-seeking judge. The local jurisdiction found no cause of action nor any violation of a document retention order. I was always presumptively innocent in the initial jurisdiction. It was nonsense, all of it; there was never a word of truth to any of it. And now it is over, after 16 years, including three years and two weeks in U.S. federal prisons.

Prior to Monday of last week, I had only once before, 18 years ago, received a telephone call from an incumbent president of the United States. I had not spoken to the current president since he took office. When my assistant said there was a call from the White House, I picked up, said “Hello” and started to ask if this was a prank (suspecting my friends in the British tabloid media), but the caller spoke politely over me: “Please hold for the president.” Two seconds later probably the best-known voice in the world said “Is that the great Lord Black?” I said “Mr. President, you do me great honour telephoning me.”

He could not have been more gracious and quickly got to his point: he was granting me a full pardon that would “Expunge the bad wrap you got.” He had followed the case closely and offered to come to give evidence at my trial in Chicago in 2007 on one of the counts (I was acquitted of that one). He said that there would be some controversy, “But you can handle that better than anyone.” I asked “Do you authorize me to say that your motivation is that it was an unjust verdict?” He checked with the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, who was in the room, if this would be a problem legally, and was told and affirmed to me that I could say that was his motive and that he was reversing an unjust verdict.

[Interesting Read]

See Also:

(1) Trump pardon of Conrad Black seems unlikely but ex-business associates have a history (Cheap shot)

(2) What Conrad Black’s critics weirdly ignore

(3) The ‘snake’ who prosecuted Black, still in the news

” In special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald’s case, when he didn’t have evidence to indict Vice President Dick Cheney, he manufactured a specious perjury charge against Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby.”