Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday May 17, 2019
Conrad Black says he won’t answer to criticism of his pardon because it’s not ‘worthy of response’
‘On anything like this you’re going to get people saying it’s a back-scratching job and he’s just rewarding me for writing nice things about him, but so what?’
Media mogul and former rival Rupert Murdoch was among the well-wishers who called Conrad Black after he received a pardon Wednesday from U.S. President Donald Trump that wiped away convictions for fraud and obstruction of justice dating back to 2007.
“I had a very nice phone call from Rupert Murdoch. I hadn’t spoken with him for many years. Most thoughtful of him to call,” Black said in an interview Thursday in the living room of his home in Toronto.
“He congratulated me and he said he’d congratulated the President for doing it.”
Calls have been coming in “from all over the place, from people I knew when I was a guest of the American people (in prison) and from people I went to Grade 2 with, and all stages since then,” said Black.
“And all but one or two were really very gracious, quite affecting many of them.”
Asked how he would respond to people who say he received the pardon because of Trump’s tendency to view only facts that suit him, or due to the past business dealings the two men had, or the flattering articles and book Black has written about Trump, Black said he wouldn’t respond directly to such critics because he doesn’t find their position “worthy of response.”
“Look, on anything like this you’re going to get people saying it’s a back-scratching job and he’s just rewarding me for writing nice things about him, but so what? Some people criticize Santa Claus, some people find fault with everything,” he said.
“The President and the very gracious message the White House issued last night was very clear in saying what the motives were, and that they were an analysis by his legal counsel and their legal team of the facts of the case, analyzing the particular materials submitted on my behalf by (lawyer) Alan Dershowitz and others.”
Black views the pardon as a total exoneration. “It’s a complete final decision of not guilty. That is finally a fully just verdict,” Black told The Canadian Press on Thursday. (Source: National Post)