Trump’s path to clemency was closed to most who sought it

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“When we worked on leniency under the Obama administration, it was based on objective criteria, not on the recommendations of a political ally or a celebrity,” said Kevin Ring, who has served a sentence. in federal prison for his role in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Chairman of the FAMM Criminal Justice Reform Group, formerly called Families Against Mandatory Minimums.

The group runs a closed Facebook forum for 7,000 inmate family members, which is filled with anxious but enthusiastic prayer messages and hope for the release of loved ones as the latest round of Grace Grants approaches. Mr. Trump, issued 12 hours before. he left his post.

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“And I was incredibly sad, because I thought you had next to no chance, because he didn’t use the process that your loved one would even be in the mix,” Mr. Ring said.

Even some recipients of Mr. Trump’s grace grants admit the process is not fair.

There are “so many thousands of inmates who never even get a chance to get their names listed, so it’s so unfair,” said Barry Wachsler, who paid the legal fees associated with Mr. Weinstein’s calls to the court. courts and leniency. “Does it help you if you have the money and the right connections?” You know, I guess so. It definitely is.

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Long Island businessman Mr. Wachsler said he met Mr. Weinstein by chance five years ago when he went to visit a friend in federal prison who introduced the two men.

Mr Weinstein, 45, pleaded guilty in 2013 to charges related to a Ponzi-type real estate project that caused losses of $ 200 million, much of which came from investors in a New Orthodox Jewish community. Jersey with which he was associated. Prosecutors said he gained the trust of potential victims by enlisting rabbis to vouch for him and donating to Jewish organizations with his ill-gotten gains.

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In 2014, he pleaded guilty to charges related to the fraud of additional investors, including falsely claiming to have access to coveted Facebook shares in the company’s upcoming public offering, using the funds to pay. legal fees related to his previous indictment.