‘What you guys witnessed was a modern-day lynching…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) A millionaire businessman has asked President Donald Trump to pardon the former mayor of Detroit who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for racketeering, bribery, extortion and fraud.
Technology mogul Peter Karmanos Jr., co-founder of the Compuware software company, hand-delivered ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s request for clemency to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.
Kilpatrick was convicted on 24 counts related to a pay-to-play corruption scheme.
Karmanos said Trump is “absolutely” considering the petition, The Detroit Free Press reported.
“What you guys witnessed was a modern-day lynching, that’s what we saw,” Karmanos said Sunday on Charlie Le Duff’s “No BS News Hour” podcast. “I’m going to continue to push. It’s not right.”
Karmanos said Kilpatrick “had done absolutely zero” wrong.
“I do know that If Trump gave him clemency before the election, where do you think he’d help Trump’s campaign at? You don’t think [Kilpatrick] would go to the black community?” he asked.
During Kilpatrick’s trial, contractors claimed that the mayor extorted them in negotiations, but Karmanos said Kilpatrick was a “good politician” and a “smart businessman,” not a criminal.
“Twenty-eight years, are you kidding me?” Karmanos said, reacting to Kilpatrick’s prison sentence. “He never asked for a cent … Everything was on the up-and-up.”
Karmanos supported Kilpatrick with a $100,000 donation, and he supported the mayor’s mother, former U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., with a $4,000 donation.
But Karmanos mostly supports Republicans. He gave $500,000 to former Ohio Gov. John Kasich‘s presidential campaign super PAC, New Day for America.
He also contributed $2,700 to Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said they stand by the justice of Kilpatrick’s conviction.
“Mr. Kilpatrick received a fair and just sentence that reflected the seriousness of his crimes and the devastating impact they had on our community,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said in an email to the Free Press on Monday.