Socialist Worker

Thanks from super-rich criminals as Donald Trump hands them pardons

Issue No. 2693

Donald Trump has helped out super-rich criminals

Donald Trump has helped out super-rich criminals (Pic: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)


US President Donald Trump pardoned a clutch of super-rich criminals last week including “junk-bond king” Michael Milken.

Milken was sentenced in 1990 to ten years in prison after pleading guilty to charges including fraud. He ultimately served 22 months in jail at a “Club Fed” luxury prison for the rich.

Trump’s pardon citation noted Milken’s endowment of various medical charities and cancer research and hailed him as “one of America’s greatest financiers”.

Milken said in a statement that he and his wife Lori were “very grateful to the president”.

Trump also commuted the sentence of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.

Blagojevich’s crimes included soliciting bribes from people interested in the Senate seat of Barack Obama after his election to the presidency in 2008.

Trump told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that he had commuted Blagojevich’s sentence, because, “He served eight years in jail, a long time. He seems like a very nice person, don’t know him,” the president added.

However, Blagojevich had appeared as a contestant in 2010 on the Celebrity Apprentice television programme, which Trump hosted.

On his release from prison last week Blagojevich, previously a Democrat, declared himself a “Trumpocrat” in the 2020 election.

Another lucky pardon recipient was billionaire property magnate Edward J DeBartolo Jr.

He was charged with paying a £300,000 bribe in $100 bills to Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards.

This was allegedly in return for state government approval of a riverboat gambling project in which DeBartolo had invested.

Edwards went to prison, while De Bartolo served no time.

Trump has pardoned only one African American man in more than three years in office. He was the boxer Jack Johnson who had been dead for 72 years.


Cops neglected the welfare of a prisoner who died

Cops failed to carry out proper welfare checks on a sick woman and did not notice for 12 hours that she had died in her cell.

The Surrey officers were supposed to have been carrying out half-hour checks on Miranda Stevenson. But they had only looked at her through a spy hole in the cell door.

While CCTV footage indicated she had stopped breathing at about 7.30pm on 31 May 2015, staff were recording that her breathing was regular. It was not until the following morning, that Miranda was found to be dead.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct initially investigated the actions of three custody sergeants and six detention officers involved in Miranda’s detention.

In June 2018, it was agreed that one sergeant and six officers should face disciplinary action.

The sergeant was given management advice and three officers received final written warnings.


Where did prince Andrew go after Pizza Express meal?

A former royal protection officer has raised questions about prince Andrew’s “alibi” for the night he allegedly had sex with teenage trafficking victim Virginia Roberts.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, the officer said he believes the prince may have returned to Buckingham Palace in the early hours of 11 March.

This contradicts his account of being “at home” all evening after taking his daughter to Pizza Express in Woking.

The officer recalled how the prince arrived by car at the Palace in the middle of the night and hurled abuse at guards when they did not open the gates quickly enough.

He believes it could have been the same evening the prince was alleged to have had sex with Roberts at the home of Ghislaine Maxwell.

Maxwell’s Belgravia home is a mile from Buckingham Palace.


Tories’ friends in Hungary replace Jewish author with Nazis

The Tories who pumped out antisemitism slurs against Jeremy Corbyn are also big friends of the antisemitic Hungarian government.

So they won’t be mentioning that Viktor Orban’s regime has removed Imre Kertesz from its required reading for schools.

Kertesz was a Jewish Auschwitz survivor, and the first Hungarian awarded the Nobel Prize for literature

He has been replaced on the list by three antisemitic authors. Two were supporters of the Hungarian Nazi Arrow Cross.

This group helped to round up 475,000 Hungarian Jews for deportation to the gas chambers.


Minister calls for rubber duck bombs powered by plankton

James Heappey has urged military chiefs to “think the ridiculous” just days after he was appointed a junior defence minister.

Speaking at the RUSI think tank he suggested special forces troops should shift away from “crawling through the ditch with their dagger in their teeth ready to plunge it into the heart of the enemy commander”.

Instead they should move towards planting “malware in enemy servers”.

Fleshing out his suggestions he said, “I was talking last week about plankton-powered rubber duck bombs, but why not?

“If a million plankton-powered rubber duck bombs crashed into the Queen Elizabeth, she might sink.”

Heappey, a former army officer, also compared Britain’s military to doomed video rental firm Blockbuster before it was put out of business by Netflix.


Rich avoid the certainties of life

There’s a saying that the only two certainties are death and taxes.

But maybe neither is true for the wealthy. We know they succeed in avoiding tax.

Now Amazon corporation chief Jeff Bezos and billionaire PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel have both invested in San Francisco-based Unity Biotechnology, a company whose mission is to “extend human healthspan”.


Homeless at risk after sheltering in bins

So many homeless people have been found sheltering in bins that the Biffa company has issued a warning of deaths by crushing when they are accidentally tipped into lorries.

At least seven people have been killed in the last five years.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.