President Trump pardoned former Army Lieutenant Michael Behenna of Oklahoma Tuesday; saying the veteran had “broad support” from the public after he was convicted of killing an al Qaeda terrorist during a field interrogation in 2009.
“In light of these facts, Mr. Behenna is entirely deserving of this Grant of Executive Clemency,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders; citing the withholding of information during his trial that could have proved Behenna’s innocence.
Behenna had the written support of 37 general and admirals calling for his presidential pardon.
“I thank President Trump for his tremendous act of mercy. I also want to express my sincerest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of support for my family, including former Governor Mary Fallin, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, my lawyers at King & Spalding, who handled the matter pro bono, and all those members of the public who wrote letters and sent words of encouragement on my behalf. Although this brings great peace to my family, we as a country must never forget Adam Kohlhaas and Steven Christofferson and all those who gave their lives in service of this great nation. They represent the finest of our society, and their families will forever be in our thoughts and prayers,” said a personal statement released from Behanna.
“In seeking a pardon, Michael Behenna sought forgiveness from the country he loves and served at great personal sacrifice,” said John C. Richter, the King & Spalding partner who led a team working on Michael’s behalf for a pardon. “Today, President Trump’s act of forgiveness reaffirmed that the sacrifices made by our armed forces, who often endure unimaginable horrors to protect us, are never forgotten.”
CALLING THEIR BLUFF: Trump Asks NFL Players to ‘Recommend People’ for Pardons
President Trump offered a possible solution for professional athletes who continue to protest the national anthem Friday; asking NFL players to compile a list of people they claim have been mistreated and the President will consider possible pardons.
The President was speaking with reporters before departing for the G7 summit in Quebec, Canada when he weighed in on player protests ahead of the upcoming football season.
“I’m going to say to them: Instead of talking, it’s all talk, talk, talk… I am going to ask all of those people to recommend to me people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system,” said Trump.
“I’m going to ask them to recommend to me people that were unfairly treated. Friends of theirs or people they know about and I’m going to take a look at those applications. If I find — if my committee finds they’re unfairly treated, we will pardon them or at least let them out,” Trump said.
Watch the President’s possible solution above.
CALLING THEIR BLUFF: Trump Says NFL Athletes Not Protesting a ‘REAL ISSUE’
President Trump called out NFL players who “take a knee” during the national anthem Friday, saying their protests “aren’t a real issue” and asking them to submit names for his team to review for pardons.
The President was speaking with Fox News when he was asked to weigh-in on the ongoing NFL protests, saying he’s asked the players to submit names but has so far “not heard from one.”
"I told the @NFL players… let me know about it, I'll look at it. If they're aggrieved, I will pardon them. I'll get them out."
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 15, 2018
“I’m all for the athletes, I think it’s great, I love athletics, I love sports, but they shouldn’t get the politics involved,” Trump said. “When you’re in a stadium and they broadcast that national anthem, you’ve got to stand and you’ve got to be proud […] And once you leave that stadium, go and do whatever you want to do.”
“I have not personally heard from one. I don’t think it’s a real issue. I don’t think it’s a real issue,” he added.