President Donald Trump announced a set of clemencies and pardons Tuesday, including for financier Michael Milken who was convicted of securities fraud and for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich who was convicted of public corruption.
Mr. Trump's closest confidants had urged him to pardon Mr. Milken, the 1980s "junk bond king" who has sought for decades to reverse his conviction.
The commutation of the 14-year prison sentence of Mr. Blagojevich brought a surprising end to one of the highest-profile public corruption cases of the 21st century.
Mr. Trump also pardoned former New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was sentenced to four years in prison for failure to pay taxes and lying to White House officials. The president earlier in the day pardoned Edward DeBartolo Jr., who owned the San Francisco 49ers football team for 23 years and pleaded guilty in 1998 to failing to report an alleged extortion attempt.
Many of the pardons and clemencies were backed by conservatives. For instance, the White House said Mr. Milken's pardon was supported by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, whose office prosecuted Mr. Milken in the 1980s.