Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle,” author and former newspaper publisher Conrad Black, fresh off of receiving a pardon from President Donald Trump, offered a critical view of the federal justice system and the powers of the Department of Justice.
Partial transcript as follows:
INGRAHAM: Here exclusively in his first American interview since his pardon is Lord Conrad Black. Conrad, everybody knows, you and I have known each other a long time, and I have spoken about your absurd case for many, many years and written about it. But your reaction to those who say that this was just your flattery that won you a pardon.
CONRAD BLACK, PARDONED BY PRESIDENT TRUMP: Laura, thank you for having me on. My reaction is I’ve absolutely no reason to believe that the president is even aware that I wrote that book. He certainly has never mentioned it. And in any case, anyone who has read it can see that it is not uncritical. It’s no whitewash. It points out some of the less salubrious aspects of his career. And I am not uncritical of him. In general, I am a supporter for policy reasons.
And he was at pains to say when he phoned last week that his motivation, and he authorized me to say this, urged me to say this, was not that we’d known each other a long time or that I’ve been generally supportive of him. It is that after careful examination by the White House Counsel and his legal staff, they confirmed what Alan Dershowitz and others lawyers said on my behalf, and the president’s own words were, it was an unjust verdict, and I never should have been charged, and it was a bad rap. Those were his motives. If he handed favors out to his friends, there would be, you would have five ambassadors in every embassy.
INGRAHAM: And people should note that the prosecutor who had you in his sights was Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. attorney in Chicago. He’s now representing Jim Comey. And the echoes of prosecutorial abuse and the use of government and state authority to target people, any thoughts?
BLACK: Yes. We found the prosecutors, including the FBI contribution, offering absolute untruths almost every day. There was never any sanction for it. I have to say, Laura, I know you’re a well-qualified lawyer. I’m a lawyer, I haven’t practiced for 50 years, but I am in theory a lawyer. And any serious jurisdiction except the United States would disbar most of these prosecutors. It’s absolutely outrageous what they do.
And as everybody knows, basically what they do is they target somebody, they round up everybody near them in whatever activity is objected to, say you better jog your memory, or there’s an obstruction of justice going on here and a conspiracy to subvert justice, and you will be charged. But if you can jog your memory successfully and help us, then you have immunity from perjury and carry on.
INGRAHAM: Well, they use —
BLACK: That’s how you get a 98 percent conviction rate, a North Korean rate of conviction. It’s a wonderful country, but there is a problem in the justice system.
INGRAHAM: Conrad Black, really happy that you got that pardon, and can’t wait to see you in the United States. Come on the show in person when you’re in the United States.
BLACK: I’d always be honored to do it, Laura. Thank you.
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