An ABC News analysis of the 238 people who were pardoned or had their sentences commuted during the Trump administration found at least ten who are under investigation, are charged with a crime, or were convicted. Former newspaper executive Kenneth Kurson pleaded guilty to cyberstalking his ex-wife. Rapper Kodak Black was arrested on felony drug charges in Florida. Jurors found political operative Jesse Benton guilty of illegally funneling Russian money into a group aligned with former President Trump. Some legal experts call this phenomenon unprecedented but not entirely unexpected, given the former president's unorthodox approach to the pardon process.
Former U.S. Pardon Attorney Margaret Love said that Trump bypassed the formal and orderly Justice Department process in favor of an informal and fairly chaotic White House operation, relying in some cases on his personal views and in others on recommendations from people he knew or who gained access to him." Those pardoned by Trump included dozens of friends and political allies. The list included celebrities, lawmakers and former aides who had been convicted of crimes ranging from fraud to murder -- including four private military contractors who were in prison for murdering 17 Iraqi citizens, including two children, in a 2007 attack in Baghdad. Just 25 of 238 pardons went through the Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney, which examines the merits of clemency applications. "The process is supposed to be fair, it's supposed to be careful, it's supposed to be accurate ... and it's also supposed to be a process that helps predict who is not going to recidivate," said Larry Kupers, Acting U.S. Pardon Attorney for 18 months at the beginning of the Trump administration.