Fox News host Jeanine Pirro's ex-husband Albert was granted a pardon following his 2000 conviction for fraudulently writing off $1.2 million in personal spending as business expenses

By Jeff Truesdell
January 20, 2021 04:15 PM
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Albert Pirro
| Credit: Mitch Jacobson/AP/Shutterstock

In his final minutes as president, Donald Trump issued one final pardon for a friend -- Fox News host and Trump ally Judge Jeanine Pirro, whose ex-husband was pardoned following his 2000 conviction for conspiracy and tax evasion.

The pardon -- confirmed by the White House in the last hour of Trump's term, after he landed in Florida following his departure from Washington, D.C. -- set aside the conviction of Albert Pirro, a onetime influential GOP businessman whose ex-wife was then the top prosecutor in Westchester County, New York, according to The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNBC.

Albert Pirro was sentenced to 29 months in federal prison after illegally deducting $1.2 million of his personal expenses as business write-offs for what the sentencing judge described as a ''mad pursuit of some American dream, with the cars, the vacation homes, the paintings," reports the Times. He served 17 months.

He did not deny his crime. "I clearly did not fulfill my responsibilities to make a diligent enough effort to disclose my tax returns," he said at his sentencing, according to the newspaper.

Justice with Judge Jeanine has been a weekend staple of Fox News since its premiere in 2011, where Jeanine Pirro had endorsed claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, reports CNBC. Her recent books include Liars, Leakers and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy and Don't Lie to Me: And Stop Trying to Steal our Freedom.

The couple divorced in 2013.

The last-minute pardon of Pirro came in addition to 73 pardons and 70 commutations announced by the White House in the final day of Trump's term.

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Among them were pardons or sentence commutations for convicted criminals including rapper Lil' Wayne; former top strategist Steve Bannon, who is being prosecuted for fraud; former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, in prison for corruption; and Palm Beach, Florida, eye doctor Salomon Melgen, who is in prison after being convicted on dozens of counts of health care fraud.

The list includes a host of other figures, including white-collar criminals, politically-connected allies and friends, and those who have endorsed him in the past.

The White House statement confirming the bulk of the pardons and sentence commutations came after midnight Wednesday, some eight hours before Trump departed Washington, D.C. ahead of the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

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The batch of pardons followed a slew of controversial commutations issued by Trump in December, which included the father of his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, as well as former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and longtime loyalist Roger Stone.

In the final weeks of his presidency, Trump had reportedly discussed the possibility of issuing federal pardons to other close political allies such as his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, or his adult children. But he did not do so.

ABC News reported that Trump and his allies had discussed the possibility of pardoning himself, though CNN reported that he was recently warned not to make that decision by legal advisers.