Social media videos show that disgraced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has already been released from prison and reunited after having his sentence commuted in a flurry of last-minute clemency orders from Donald Trump late Tuesday night. The now-former president either pardoned or commuted the sentences of nearly 150 people on his last day in office, and Kilpatrick — who was serving a 28-year prison bid for corruption — made the cut.
In announcing the pardons and commutations, Trump simply said, “the safety of the community will not be compromised if [Kilpatrick] is released.”
Conspicuously missing from Trump’s announcement was any mention of a nearly two-year-old letter the former mayor sent to him that was replete with gratuitous praise and compliments. The letter also painted the now-former president as a victim of the purported Democrat-led witchhunt Trump has long decried.
Also in that letter, Kilpatrick, a Democrat, played to Trump’s fragile ego and blamed former President Barack Obama‘s U.S. attorney for what was described as the overaggressive prosecution of a case that resulted in an “egregious and unjust federal prison sentence.”
In addition, Kilpatrick used glowing terms when addressing Trump’s corporate success, a premise that was challenged in September when a bombshell New York Times report revealed the then-president “has been more successful playing a business mogul than being one in real life.”
Finally, Kilpatrick made an overt appeal to Trump’s expressed demonization of the media, claiming he, too, had fallen victim to journalists who he claimed without proof were “planting stories, riddled with blatant lies, malicious rumors, and evil intent.”
Taken in its totality — a Black man publicly countering claims of Trump’s hateful ways by attacking Obama and the media — it is no wonder why Kilpatrick ended up on the lengthy list of pardons and commutations.
Prison officials previously shot down Kilpatrick’s request to be released early over coronavirus concerns behind bars. But Trump decided that serving seven years was enough time for the crimes of racketeering, extortion and fraud; a decision that was likely influenced by Kilpatrick’s effusive praise of a man who has been widely described as the worst U.S. president of all time.
Don’t believe us? See for yourself. Read Kilpatrick’s full letter sent to Trump in April 2019, which was previously published by Deadline Detroit.
Dear Mr. President,
I first want to congratulate you for the overwhelming and stunning victories of your Presidential campaign, and also the unprecedented success of your first two-years in office. You have shaken up the entire world…and that is a great thing to behold. I pray for your success daily!
I applaud your boldness and tenacity in confronting the traditional and sometimes deformed politics of our country. You have vociferously exposed the treacherous and calculating schemes of our media and government that have worked to crush families, communities, and even Truth itself. Thank you for standing up, speaking out, and exposing this wickedness.
I met you in Detroit years ago with my mentor, Don Barden. Mr. Barden always spoke very highly of you, and truly admired your business savvy and leadership skills. I loved to sit with Mr. B (cigars all-around of course) and listen to him talk about working with you. He was my friend, a key supporter…and remained so until his death. If he were alive today, there is no doubt in my mind, that on my behalf, he would be making this plea to you himself,
Mr. President, I am humbly and respectfully asking that you will extend your heart to me and my family, for another chance at abundant life. I am humbly requesting that you would give me relief from this egregious and unjust federal prison sentence of 28 years. With ONE STROKE OF YOUR PEN, you would give new life, freedom and hope to me, my family, and many who will be served by your gesture of kindness, mercy, and forgiveness. (Clemency Case Number: C199974…KILPATRICK)
For clarity purposes, I must state what my federal case DOES NOT INVOLVE:
- None of the charges, nor any convictions, involved the City of Detroit Bankruptcy.
- None of the charges, nor any convictions, involve embezzlement, misuse of public funds, or “stealing” any money.
- None of the charges, nor any convictions, involve bid-rigging, or the “fixing” of any contracts.
None of the charges, nor any convictions, involve ANY FINANCIAL LOSS TO THE CITY OF DETROIT WHATSOEVER!
- None of the charges, nor any convictions, involve ANY violent crime (rape, robbery, murder, etc).
However, I was excessively sentenced to a 28-year prison sentence. #toomuchtime
My sentence breaks down as follows:
- RICO Conspiracy (with two members, unprecedented in federal courts)…20 YEAR SENTENCE
- Using $13,953 of 501(c)(4)monies for “personal use” between 2003-2007. (Fund raised $1.73M)…7 YEAR SENTENCE
- Income Tax convictions associated with aforementioned convictions…1 YEAR SENTENCE
Mr. President, I received a 28-year prison sentence, for somehow effecting ten (10) City Contracts between the years 2002-2008, that were performed on-time, on-budget, and very well. The City of Detroit did not lose, or mis-spend any money related to any of these contracts. The worked performed within the scope of these 10 contracts continue to serve the city today.
During this time (2002-2008) there were more than 3000 contracts moved through these same city processes BUT only these 10 were a part of this two-person RICO Organization. It stinks!
The Feds opened their investigation against me in February of 2002, just one-month after I took office. The feds are politicians. They choose sides in elections. They didn’t want me to win. I wasn’t their choice. I ran a grass roots, people-driven campaign, and shook up the establishment. I beat them twice! I know you know a great deal about this.
The investigation persisted for more than 9-years. The Obama Appointed U.S. Attorney aggressively pursued my prosecution like no other. She forced the indictment for the RICO Conspiracy charge. The RICO Conviction allowed the feds to employ one of their most dangerous strategies; “Sentence Manipulation.” The Feds absolutely know that I was NEVER involved,
IN ANY WAY, with a RICO organization, nor ANY activities thereof. But the Obama appointed team viciously and maliciously pursued the prosecution anyway. Because they could!
Even if you believe everything else that the Feds have in my case, without the RICO Conspiracy conviction, I could not have received more than a 96-month sentence (8 years). I have already been incarcerated nearly 8 years.
I know that you are able to discern the unfairness and deliberate injustice, as well as the selective nature of this prosecution. For the first time, we have a President that can see and fully understand how our own government will sometimes plot, organize, and coordinate to work against its own people. It was a rabidly aggressive prosecution, partnered with lock-step coordination with the media in planting stories, riddled with blatant lies, malicious rumors, and evil intent. #fakenews Thank you very much for your work, and your voice, in exposing these malicious practices. Please don’t ever stop fighting. You are RIGHT!
I’ve done some hard time in prison, including spending more than 5-months in Solitary Confinement at different times throughout this journey. I have lost significant years of experiences with my 3 sons. I’ve missed high-school graduations, college entrancos, awards ceremonies, holidays, birthdays, and many simple life moments with my boys, my aging parents, my family, and my friends.
Mr. President, I am humbly and respectfully requesting a Commutation of my prison sentence. I am not a danger to society, nor am I prone to ever “reoffend.” I am praying that you will give me the opportunity to be a present father for my children, and soon to be grandchildren.
I am also seeking to be an advocate and vocal supporter of the great work you are doing in the Criminal Justice Reform space. Communities of color are being inspired through your strategy, tenacity, and courage in this area, like none have seen from ANY President before you. I want to help them understand the commitment of your administration to this issue.
I passionately entreat you for an opportunity to fully participate in America…”The Land of Second Chances!” Respectfully Submitted,
Kwame M. Kilpatrick