Trump issues pardon to tax-evading executive whose family paid his campaign over $200,000
US President Donald Trump has an unpredictable negotiating style and likes to break with precedent. (AFP/File / SAUL LOEB)

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump issued a new series of controversial pardons, including to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted of trying to sell President Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat, and former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who went to prison for tax fraud and false statements.


For the most part, these pardons affected people who have received praise and sympathy from pundits on Fox News. But one pardon in particular stands out: that of construction executive Paul Pogue, who was sentenced to three years probation after evading $473,000 in taxes.

According to The Daily Beast, "Pogue’s family has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct contributions and in-kind air travel to the Trump Victory Fund. Beginning in August 2019, Ben Pogue — CEO of Pogue Construction and son of Paul Pogue — and his wife Ashleigh made over $200,000 in contributions to the campaign."

The report continued: "In August alone, Ben Pogue donated $85,000 to Trump Victory while Ashleigh Pogue contributed $50,000 that month. The following month, Ben Pogue made an in-kind air travel contribution of $75,404.40. The couple also made several large donations to the Republican National Committee and each donated $5,600 to Donald Trump for President Inc. On the day of their first donation to the Trump campaign, Ashleigh posted an Instagram photo of her and her husband posing with Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, at the Hamptons."

While nobody on Fox News has been pushing for Pogue's clemency, one notable pundit on CNN has: former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum — who happened to receive $5,400 from the Pogues during his 2016 presidential campaign.