President Donald Trump announced Tuesday the pardon of convicted bank robber Jon Ponder ahead of his appearance on the second night of the Republican National Convention (RNC).
According to Fox News, Ponder, who founded the nonprofit Hope For Prisoners, will speak at the convention along with Richard Beasley, the FBI agent who arrested him.
“Two years ago I was honored to tell Jon Ponder’s story of transformation in the Rose Garden on the National Day of Prayer,” Trump said in a video released announcing the pardon. “Today, I am thrilled to welcome him back to the White House.”
“Jon’s life is a beautiful testament to the power of redemption,” Trump said, noting Ponder’s troubled past and the moment he “dedicated his life to Christ.”
Ponder also talked to those in attendance at the White House, saying he is extremely “grateful.”
“I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have the opportunity to speak here today,” Ponder said at the White House. “Not so long ago, my life was running from the police, fearing the police, and avoiding the police.”
“Today, praise God. I am filled with hope,” Ponder said. “I am a proud American citizen who has been given a second chance. My transformation began in a prison cell.