On his way out of the White House door, Trump commuted the sentence of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, 20 years early for public corruption crimes he was convicted of in 2013, according to the White House.
Since his 2013 conviction, Kilpatrick had lost all appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his case. He sought a commutation from President Barack Obama, but it was denied.
In 2001 Kwame Kilpatrick was elected as Mayor of the City of Detroit, the youngest person ever to hold that post. Christened the “Hip-Hop” Mayor, his first term was dogged by scandal and charges of poor administration. However, after a bruising campaign, he was re-elected in 2005 after narrowly defeating Detroiter Freeman Hendrix.
The story that became his undoing surfaced in 2003 when Deputy Chief Gary Brown said he was fired for looking into rumors of a wild party at the Manoogian Mansion. Others began to question Kilpatrick’s style — large motorcades, security details ordering lunch for him, a personalized chair at a local barbershop, and more. Kilpatrick said the criticism was directed at his youthfulness as his political power rose.
In September 2008, after several scandals and convictions on charges of perjury and obstruction, Kilpatrick resigned as mayor. He was sentenced to four months in jail and was released on probation after serving 99 days. In May 2010, Kilpatrick was sentenced to eighteen months to five years in state prison for violating his probation. In March 2013, he was convicted on 24 federal felony counts, including mail fraud, wire fraud, and racketeering and sentenced to 28 years in federal prison.
In June 2018 Kilpatrick began seeking a pardon from President Donald Trump. U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider, who has long argued that Kilpatrick deserved his 28-year prison sentence and should not be released early for his crimes, blasted the commutation decision.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, meanwhile, had a different take on the commutation, saying Trump got it right.”Kwame Kilpatrick is a person of great talent who still has much to contribute. I know how close he is to his three sons and I could not be happier for them being together again. This is a decision President Trump got right,” Duggan said in a statement.