Trump Pardons Bank Robber Ahead of Republican Convention

President Donald Trump on Tuesday pardoned a man who robbed a bank in Nevada -- an event that will be featured in Tuesday night’s Republican convention, according to two people familiar with the matter.

A video released before Tuesday night’s convention speeches shows Trump signing a pardon for the man, Jon Ponder, who was arrested in 2004.

“Jon’s life is a beautiful testament to the power of redemption,” Trump said.

After being released from prison, Ponder in 2009 founded a non-profit called Hope for Prisoners, Inc. that helps inmates re-enter society. Ponder is scheduled to appear at the convention alongside the former FBI agent who arrested him. Trump has sought to tout a bipartisan sentencing reform bill he signed into law as one of his top first-term achievements.

Trump indicated he would pardon Ponder in February, when he attended a ceremony for Hope For Prisoners graduates. Ponder received a state pardon for separate crimes in March.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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