Donald Trump Considering Pardon for Muhammad Ali


President Donald Trump said Friday he is weighing a possible posthumous pardon for boxing great and humanitarian icon Muhammad Ali.

Cassius Clay, who changed his name to Muhammad Ali in 1964 after converting to Islam, refused to be drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, maintaining that he was a conscientious objector and famously proclaiming that he "ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong".

Ali was convicted of violating the Selective Service Act for refusing to register for the draft in 1967.

November 2009: President Bush presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to boxer Muhammad Ali in the East Room of the White House.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter, on his first day in office, issued a blanket pardon for all of the hundreds of thousands of USA men who evaded the draft during the Vietnam War. "And he wasn't very popular then", Trump said.

It has been widely reported that the White House has assembled the paperwork to pardon dozens of people.

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Trump told reporters that he was thinking "very seriously" about pardoning him.

"We have 3000 names. many of those names have been treated unfairly", he said. "We're looking at them", Trump said, calling the power to pardon "a lovely thing".

Asked if non-celebrities - or those without celebrity advocates - had a chance at receiving clemency, Trump acknowledged that many applicants had been "treated unfairly".

Earlier this week, he also commuted the life sentence of a woman whose cause was championed by Kim Kardashian West.

It's unclear what exactly Trump intends to pardon, given that Ali's draft-dodging conviction was overturned in 1971 when the champion fighter took the case to the Supreme Court.

He told reporters outside the White House Friday, that he is considering granting clemency to at least 3,000 more people - including Ali.

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FILE - Muhammad Ali, left, assumes his former fighting stance while joking around with Vietnamese people on the path outside of Ho Chi Minh's former home in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 11, 1994. Ali regained his world heavyweight title in 1974.

"I was very focused".

However, to be pardoned, you need to have been convicted of a crime.

Last week, Trump pardoned conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza.

However, Tweel was polite when he informed Trump that he appreciated the thought but a pardon is "unnecessary".

After a long battle with Parkinson's disease Muhammad Ali died in 2016.

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Trump has wielded his presidential pardon powers recently in ways that appear meant to dramatize his own complaints of being the victim of a "witch hunt" by United States prosecutors. The Supreme Court unanimously overturned his violation conviction in a unanimous ruling on June 28, 1971, and after anti-war sentiment grew, a judge ruled in 1970 that Ali could box professionally again.