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Peter Karmanos wants President Trump to pardon former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

Posted: 11:02 AM, Jan 27, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-27 18:23:33-05
kwame kilpatrick.jpeg

(WXYZ) — Detroit billionaire Peter Karmanos Jr. wants President Donald Trump to pardon former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Karmanos, 73, spoke on the "No BS News Hour" podcast with Charlie LeDuff last week. He said "he's not a non-Trump fan" and that he's "not against him," speaking of Trump.

According to Karmanos, he made sure that Kilpatrick's letter asking for a pardon or clemency got into Trump's hands.

"Twenty-eight years. Are you kidding me? Twenty-eight years for less than really $500 of money from his own campaign fund that got spent? And that's it?" Karmanos said about why he did it.

He called his conviction a "modern day lynching."

Kilpatrick has been asking for Trump to pardon his 28-year sentence for years, and in June 2018, he wrote a blog seeking a pardon or clemency.

In November 2019, a federal appeals court denied Kilpatrick's appeal to get out of prison.

Kilpatrick argued that Judge Nancy Edmunds was "biased" and claimed that the judge had a personal and professional relationship with James Thomas, who is Kilpatrick's former lawyer. He said the judge should have recused herself because during a pretrial conference, his attorney said, "Thank you for the lovely card for my wedding. My wife and I truly loved it." The judge responded with, "You are welcome, Jim."

The former mayor said it prevented him from receiving a fair trial.

The appeals court order said: "Because merely sending a wedding card is not 'of a specifically intimate degree to induce a reasonable person with knowledge of all the facts to conclude that [the judge’s] impartiality could be reasonably questioned,' this claim does not deserve encouragement to proceed further."

Kilpatrick is serving a 28-year prison sentence for his conviction on racketeering, bribery and other charges and is currently housed at a federal prison in Louisiana. His expected release date, according to federal prison records, his is set for Jan. 18, 2037.