President Trump has congratulated former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. after pardoning the football boss who paid $400,000 to win a riverboat casino licence.
DeBartolo, 73, pleaded guilty to the felony of failing to report a felony in the corruption case that sent former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards to prison for eight years. DeBartolo received a $1million fine and two years probation in 1998.
‘Congratulations to Eddie DeBartolo Jr. and your wonderful family of friends!’ Trump tweeted yesterday as he shared photos from the Oval Office of DeBartolo with his daughter Nikki and her husband Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.
Also in attendance were several former NFL stars, including Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, Jim Brown, Charles Haley and Ronnie Lott. ‘I take my hat off to Donald Trump for what he did,’ Rice said at a press briefing.
Eddie DeBartolo with President Donald Trump, his daughter Nikki DeBartolo, and Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, who is Nikki’s husband
‘Congratulations to Eddie DeBartolo Jr. and your wonderful family of friends!’ Trump tweeted yesterday as he shared photos from the Oval Office
Trump poses with DeBartolo, his family and former NFL stars in the Oval Office on Tuesday
Brown called DeBartolo a ‘great man.’
Trump granted clemency to ten others on Tuesday, including former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich jailed for political corruption, former NYPD commissioner Bernie Kerik jailed for tax fraud and 1980s Wall Street ‘junk bond king’ Michael Milken.
Michael Douglas’ unscrupulous character Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street was at least partially based on Milken.
Supporters of Milken’s pardon included Giuliani, as well as New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
Ironically, it was Giuliani who charged Milken with 98 counts of racketeering and fraud under the RICO act in 1989.
DeBartolo, the son of a prominent real estate development family, owned the 49ers for 23 years and won five Super Bowls as their owner.
He stepped down as owner in 1997 after two Louisiana newspapers reported he would be indicted for gambling fraud.
In 1992, DeBartolo was accused of sexual assault by a cocktail waitress he met at a local bar in California. He denied any wrongdoing and was never charged but reportedly paid $200,000 to settle the case out of court.
Trump commuted the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (upper left) and issue a trio of pardons: to former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik (upper right), 1980s junk bond king Michael Milken (lower left) and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr (lower right)
Former NFL American football players Jerry Rice (L), Charles Haley (C) and Ronnie Lott (R) speak to the news media after the announcement of a full pardon of former 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr by US President Donald J. Trump at the White House in Washington
Rice, who as a wide receiver won three Super Bowls with the 49ers, praised DeBartolo’s ownership of the team.
‘It was all about family. That’s really what they stood for. And that’s the reason why I think we won so many championships,’ Rice said.
‘Eddie was like that 12th man that was on that football field. You know that this guy, you know, he wanted us to win. And I think he’s the main reason why we won so many Super Bowls. So today is a great day for him. I’m glad to be here and be a part of that. And, you know, it’s just something I’ll never forget. You know, this man, he has done so much in the community, he has done so much in NFL football,’ he noted.
Pastor Darrell Scott, former NFL player Jim Brown, and White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley step out of the West Wing after speaking to President Trump about DeBartolo
Former NFL football player Jerry Rice praised Trump’s decision
Former NFL football player Jim Brown is a long time Trump supporter
Jim Brown, who praised Trump’s decision, is a long time supporter of the president who co-hosted an inauguration party after Trump won the 2016 election.
DeBartolo co-hosted that event with Brown, which honored those close to the president, including Michael Cohen, Trump’s then personal attorney who later went to prison for campaign finance violations and tax fraud, and and Omarosa Manigault Newman, the ‘Apprentice’ contestant turned White House aide who was later fired from that position.
The former fullback for the Cleveland, Brown was also at the White House in October 2018 when Trump met with rapper Kayne West in the Oval Office.
The pardons amid speculation Trump will pardon Roger Stone
Trump, meanwhile, used his pardoning powers broadly as speculation mounted over whether he might grant his longtime friend and former campaign aide Roger Stone the same salvation.
Stone was convicted on seven counts, including witness tampering and lying to investigators, as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Trump called the case against Stone ‘tainted’ in a tweet on Tuesday morning but the judge has denied a motion by Stone’s lawyers for a retrial.
A crooked police commissioner and a governor who tried to shake down a children’s hospital: Who’s Who of Donald Trump’s pardon spree
Financier Michael Milken is known for pioneering high-yield ‘junk’ bonds.
In March 1989, a federal grand jury indicted Milken on 98 counts of and fraud and he pleaded guilty to six counts of securities and tax violation.
Milken, 73, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his crimes while heading the bond department at the investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert, and fined $600 million.
His sentence was later reduced to two years after he cooperated with federal authorities.
Trump praised Milken’s work on cancer research, saying he ‘has gone around and done an incredible job for the world with all of his research on cancer.’
Milken survived prostate cancer and co-founded the Milken Family Foundation and is chairman of the Milken Institute – the charities fund research into melanoma, cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Kerik was appointed New York police commissioner by Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who is now Trump’s personal attorney.
In June 2006, Kerik pleaded guilty in Bronx Supreme Court to two ethics violations.
Kerik acknowledged that during the time he was Interior Minister of Iraq – under President George W. Bush – he accepted a $250,000 interest-free ‘loan’ from Israeli billionaire Eitan Wertheimer and failed to report it.
In November 2007, Kerik was indicted by a federal grand jury in White Plains, New York on charges of tax fraud, and making false statements to the federal government about the loan.
He later pleaded guilty to eight felony tax and false statement charges and was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release. That time concluded in October 2016.
Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois, was sent to prison for 14 years for soliciting bribes, including those for the Senate seat once held by Barack Obama and for trying to shake down a children’s hospital.
Blagojevich threatened to revoke funds to Children’s Memorial Hospital after its chief executive officer did not give a $50,000 contribution to the governor’s campaign.
The 63-year-old has been in the Federal Correctional Institution in Englewood, Colorado, since March 15, 2012.
His expected release date was 2024, factoring in two years of credit for good behavior.
In 2009, Blagojevich appeared on NBC’s ‘The Apprentice,’ the reality TV show then hosted by Trump.
The former San Francisco 49ers owner paid $400,000 to former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards to help win a riverboat casino license in 1998.
He pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to report a felony, and received a $1million fine and two years of probation.
He stepped down as owner in 1997 after two Louisiana newspapers reported he would be indicted for gambling fraud. He was also suspended for a year by the NFL.
DeBartolo owned the 49ers for 23 years and won five Super Bowls as their owner.