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President Trump pardons former Michigan congressman


A former Michigan congressman is among those receiving a pre-Christmas pardon from President Donald Trump.

Mark Siljander represented southwest Michigan in Washington from 1981 until 1987. At the time, he was a described as a dogmatic social conservative and fundamentalist Christian.  While in Washington, he successfully passed legislation that no U.S. funds may be used to lobby for abortion. It’s known as the Siljander Amendment.

But it was his work in the early 2000’s as a lobbyist for a Muslim charity that landed him in federal prison.

Federal prosecutors alleged Siljander had been hired to get the charity removed from a Senate committee’s list of charities suspected of financing terrorism.

In 2010, Siljander pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and acting as an unregistered foreign agent. He served a year in federal prison.

Siljander’s pardon was supported by former United States Attorney General Edwin Meese, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

In the announcement of his pardon, the White House cited Siljander’s personal efforts to promote peace and mutual understanding in the Middle East and Africa.

Wednesday, President Donald Trump pardoned more than two dozen people, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law.

It's the latest wave of clemency by Trump that benefits longtime associates and supporters.

The actions announced Wednesday night bring to nearly 50 the number of people whom the president has granted clemency in the last week.

Benefiting are multiple people convicted in the investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, plus some of the president's legally troubled allies from Congress and other felons whose causes have been championed by friends.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.