Since the existence of a republic, American presidents have made excuses – and no, you don't need Geraldo Rivera's lifeline.
Mr. Rivera, Fox's television personality, vouched for ex-New York City Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik being apologized by President Trump for grace this week to Mr. Kerik and ten others.
Among them were the so-called junk bond king of the 1980s, Michael R. Milken and Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., a former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, as well as the former governor of Illinois, Rod R. Blagojevich, whose corruption The verdict was converted by Mr. Trump.
They joined an exclusive club of reclamation figures, many of whom had a dirty past and political connections: politicians and pirates, the owner of the New York Yankees, fixers in the Iran-Contra affair, deep throat, and a former president, Richard M. Nixon.
Is Mr. Trump's ally Roger J. Stone Jr. sentenced to 40 months in prison for handicap and perjury on Thursday?
Here is a selection of the more notorious pardons and presidents who granted them.
Washington did not wait long to exercise the presidential pardon, which historians say was one of the few aspects of the monarchy in England that the authors had adopted.
In 1795, Washington granted John Mitchell and Philip Weigel the first pardons for treason for their role in the whiskey rebellion. The uprising broke out in western Pennsylvania after the federal government levied a high excise duty on distilled spirits.
The authors discussed early on which branch of the government should have the power to forgive – the President or Congress.
"There was this fear of being too powerful a president," said Barbara A. Perry, director of presidential studies at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, in an interview this week.
The French pirates Jean Lafitte and Pierre Lafitte were best known for their looting in the Gulf of Mexico. The two brothers smuggled goods and enslaved people into southern Louisiana and violated the law.
Jean Lafitte recovered when he helped defend New Orleans during the war of 1812 and received an apology from Madison for the smuggling crimes of him and his brother. A national historical park and conservation area is named after Jean Lafitte, as well as a former blacksmith shop on Bourbon Street that, according to legend, was used by the brothers and claims to be the oldest building used in the United States as a bar.
James K. Polk
John C. Frémont, known as "Pathfinder of the Rocky Mountains", was a central figure in exploring the West. He was the military governor of California and an army officer. But his disobedience during the Mexican-American war led to Frémont being brought before a court-martial.
Polk pardoned Frémont, who became the newly formed Republican Party's first presidential candidate in 1856, a race he lost.
Brigham Young, a patriarch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, rose to power as the first governor of the Utah territory. However, tensions between the federal government and the colonists in Utah had increased, causing Buchanan to remove Young.
imageRecognition…Harvard Art Museum
The President sent U.S. Army soldiers to Utah to enforce federal rule in the so-called Utah War. Buchanan finally apologized to Young for treason and sedition.
In 1862, a group of Dakota Indians attacked white settlements on the Minnesota border and were accused of killing 490 people, including women and children. Hostilities culminated in years of strained relationships between the influx of settlers and the starving Dakota, historically known as Sioux, who had been promised food and other supplies in a series of broken peace treaties.
Lincoln, whose grandfather had been killed by Native Americans, spared 265 of the 303 Dakota people sentenced to death. They were either fully pardoned or died in prison.
"I couldn't afford to hang men up for votes," Lincoln said at the time.
On Christmas Day 1868, Johnson granted pardons to all who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War.
"I think there is almost this religious sense of mercy and mercy to try to bring the country back together," said Professor Perry.
Johnson was also known to pardon Samuel A. Mudd, the doctor and tobacco farmer who was convicted of conspiracy in Lincoln's murder after helping put John Wilkes Boothe's broken leg up and housed him after the shootout.
James Michael Curley was the embodiment of the democratic machine in Boston. He was elected mayor several times, but his tenure was interrupted by several defeats. He served in Congress and as a governor of Massachusetts.
Curley's political career was also marked by corruption and cronyism. He spent five months in federal prison after being convicted of postal fraud. In 1950, Truman granted Curley a full apology after his release.
Gerald R. Ford
According to Department of Justice records, Ford granted 382 pardons within 29 months of taking over the presidency in 1974.
No one was dissected more than Ford's pardon of former President Richard M. Nixon for all federal crimes that he "committed, or may have committed, or participated in" during his tenure. The pardon came only a few weeks after Nixon was the first and only US president to resign.
imageRecognition…Mike Lien / The New York Times
Nixon had been impeached by the house and almost certain to be sentenced by the Senate for hindering the investigation into the burglary at the Democratic headquarters in the Watergate complex. The men involved in the burglary were tied to agents of the Nixon re-election campaign.
"Ford didn't want the circus to bother him during his presidency," said Professor Perry, pointing out that Nixon's pardon cast a dark shadow on Ford's 1976 campaign. "That was probably the main reason for Ford's defeat."
Ford was also known to pardon Iva Toguri D & # 39; Aquino, the Japanese-American who was associated with the Tokyo Rose broadcasts and was convicted of treason in 1949 for promoting Japanese-made propaganda to U.S. Soldiers had spread. She remained innocent until her death in 2006.
It's been 10 years since he died, but legions of baseball fans still know him as The Boss.
George M. Steinbrenner III, whose dominant size that turned the Yankees into a billion-dollar company, was apologized by Reagan for making illegal contributions to Nixon's campaign in 1972.
imageRecognition…Gary I. Rothstein for the New York Times
Reagan was also known to be W. Mark Felt, the second largest official of the F.B.I. who later revealed that he was the informant known as Deep Throat during the Watergate scandal.
George H.W. bush
On Christmas Day 1992, Bush apologized to six Reagan administration officials for their role in the Iran-Contra affair, including former Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger.
imageRecognition…Paul Hosefros / The New York Times
Weinberger had been accused of lying to Congress for secret arms sales to Iran that helped sign US-backed rebels in Nicaragua.
The pardons wiped out a conviction, three confessions and two pending cases in the Iran-Contra affair convicted by the independent prosecutor in the case, Lawrence E. Walsh.
Marc Rich, the volatile financier who fled the United States after being charged with widespread tax evasion, illegal business with Iran and other crimes, received last-minute redress from Mr. Clinton as one of the President's last acts.
Not long after the pardon, it turned out that Mr. Rich's former wife, Denise Rich, had made large donations to the Democratic Party and the Clinton Library.
Mr. Clinton also pardoned Roger Clinton, his half-brother who had been convicted of drug charges; Patty Hearst, the publisher's heiress, who was convicted of bank robbery in 1974; and Susan H. McDougal, a former Clinton business partner who was detained in the Whitewater scandal.
imageRecognition…Apic / Getty Images
According to the Department of Justice, Obama pardoned 212 people and converted another 1,715 people's sentences during his two terms.
Mr. Obama often granted mercy to those convicted of non-violent crimes under strict drug laws that have disproportionately affected blacks and Latinos.
In 2017, Obama intervened in the case of Chelsea Manning, the army's former intelligence analyst who was convicted in 2010 for sharing military and diplomatic material with WikiLeaks. The president commuted everyone except four months of her 35-year sentence. Ms. Manning had been detained for seven years. In May, Ms. Manning was sent back to prison after refusing to testify before a large jury investigated WikiLeaks, an organization that publishes leaks online.
imageRecognition…Cliff Owen / Associated Press
As one of his last acts, Mr. Obama pardoned Willie McCovey, the first baseman of the San Francisco Giants Hall of Fame, who pleaded guilty to taxing allegations of fraud for failing to report tens of thousands of dollars in autograph show fees.
Mr. McCovey, who died in 2018, was sentenced to two years' probation and fined $ 5,000.