In a final last-minute order, now-former U.S. President Donald Trump issued a pardon for FOX News' Jeanine Pirro's ex-husband, Albert Pirro. According to ABC News, Trump handed down the pardon with less than an hour to go on his term as president. In 2000, now-73-year-old Albert was convicted on 34 counts of conspiracy and tax evasion. He was found to have improperly deducted more than $1 million in extravagant personal expenses as tax write-offs for his business.
According to a New York Times article from the day of Albert's conviction, prosecutors characterized the disgraced real-estate lawyer by indicating that he "lusted for money in much the way that Richard Nixon lusted for power." Among the evidence cited in the case were a $13,250 Chinese rug and a $1,800 wrought-iron fence for the Pirro's Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs. In a brief statement to the press after the verdict was handed down, Albert said he was "a little surprised" and "disappointed," adding, "But we'll pick up and get on with our lives." Pirro added, "I am disappointed in the verdict. But I still believe in the process and the system. That's why we have an appellate process and an appellate system."
With less than an hour before his term ended, Pres. Trump granted one final pardon to Albert Pirro, a longtime New York businessman and the ex-husband of Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro, one of Trump’s staunchest cable news supporters. https://t.co/oWdQZkRaoc— ABC News (@ABC) January 20, 2021
Trump's pardon of Albert Pirro is notable, as Jeanine Pirro has long been a vocal supporter of Trump and has regularly defended him against critics. Albert also appears to be a financial contributor to the GOP, with ABC News noting that in 2020 Albert donated to the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign. Per finance records, the contributions were roughly $2,000 collectively.
Albert Pirro was not the only pardon Trump handed down at the end of his presidency, as in his final days, he issued 143 pardons and commutations. Among those pardoned was Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon. In August, Bannon was indicted on charges related to an alleged conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. The charges were connected to a crowdfunding effort for constructing a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. In a statement on Bannon's pardon, the White House said, "Mr. Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen."