Donald Trump released a long list of surprising pardons this week, from former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. to the former New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.
The 11 individuals pardoned included convicted white-collar criminals and the former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who was accused of attempting to sell Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat.
House Republicans from Illinois were extremely disappointed in Blavojevich’s commutation, issuing a joint statement that read in part, "We are disappointed by the president's commutation of Rod Blagojevich's federal sentence. We believe he received an appropriate and fair sentence, which was the low-end of the federal sentencing guidelines for the gravity of his public corruption convictions. Blagojevich is the face of public corruption in Illinois.”
There was also one pardon that some did not see coming, Angela Stanton. In 2007, she served a 6-month home confinement sentence for her role in a stolen-vehicle ring. Yesterday, she received a presidential pardon from Trump.
Stanton, who is mentored by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece and diehard Trump supporter Alveda King, told conservative site Newsmax ,“I just started hyperventilating right at the airport. I was just crying like a baby. People thought someone had died.”
She continued, “I just had to sit there for a minute to digest it all. I always said that when I left this world, that would still be on my record. I just wanted to finally, truly be free. Today, hours before my birthday, it has happened for me … and I’m still in absolute disbelief, I’m in shock.”
In Newsmax, King, who is descrived as an “evangelist and pro-life warrior,” admitted to talking with Trump about Staton. King claims she told Trump after he signed the pardon, “Wow, you really make promises, then you keep them.”
Angela Stanton also appeared on TMZ Live and bizarrely criticized President Barack Obama’s Fair Sentencing Act, claiming that is a reason why people were “left behind” in prison. The 2010 Fair Sentencing Act was widely praised and reduced the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences and eliminated the mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine.