US President Donald Trump has granted pardon to the former media mogul Conrad Black, with the White House calling him "absolutely worthy" of the gesture.
Black, who once described Trump as an "old friend" and recently published a brilliant biography of the president, served almost 42 months in a Florida prison after being convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice in 2007. It was also fined USD 125,000.
Black said that Trump called him last week to personally deliver the news.
"He couldn't have been kinder and quickly got to the point, he was giving me a full pardon, which he would" Expunge the bad wrap (sic) you got, "" Black wrote in an exhaustive statement of 1,698 words.
"The American judicial system is often and largely evil; I have been convicted of attempting an obstacle to injustice. It has never been anything but a slanderous job."
In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders described Black as "an entrepreneur and a scholar" who has a "distinguished reputation in helping others" and worked as a tutor in prison.
"In light of these facts, Mr. Black deserves this Grant of Executive Clemency entirely," the statement reads.
Black has long been a vocal supporter of Trump. Last year, Black published a flattering biography of Trump, "Donald J. Trump: a president like no other", in which he highlighted what he considers the president's greatest successes.
After the book was published, political observers hypothesized that Black could fish for a presidential pardon. But in a statement released to Maclean last December, Black denied doing so.
"You are right to say that no forgiveness was asked, and I have no comment on the topic," Black told the magazine. "Public speculation about it that I've seen is bunk."
In 2015, when Trump nominated himself as a Republican presidential candidate, Black wrote a piece for The National Review that called Trump "the good boy" in the race.
The article drew attention to the former Trump candidate.
"What an honor to read your piece" Trump tweeted. "As one of the greatest intellects and my friend, I will not forget it !!"
Black replied kindly.
"Many thanks, Donald and all the best wishes to help clean up the American government, honored to be your friend" he tweeted.
Black had previously directed Hollinger International, a global newspaper publisher who published The National Post, The Daily Telegraph and The Jerusalem Post. He renamed his Canadian citizenship in 2001 to become Lord Black of Crossharbour, his official title as a British gentleman.
– Richard Madan (@RichardMadan) 16 May 2019