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Trump is at it again. He has now pardoned arsonists who wanted a wild life refuge for their cattle. The Hammonds, a father and his son, set two fires to take over the land that had been marked as a wild life refuge by the Federal Government. Using the so called "sovereign citizen" movement as their defense, (headed by Ammon Bundy) this movement believes that the Federal Government lands should belong to ranchers for grazing their cattle. Perhaps Trump thinks so too.
The Hammonds had requested a commutation, which would have allowed them an early release, but instead, Trump gave them a full pardon, so that all of their civil right would be restored.
The pardoning of these two, means that in Tump's year and a half he has granted 7 (seven) pardons. He has also been known to state that he can pardon himself if he wants to.
CreditLes Zaitz/The Oregonian, via Associated Press
President Donald Trump on Tuesday pardoned father-and-son cattle ranchers serving prison time for arson, a case that helped inspire the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in 2016.
Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son, Steven, were convicted of starting two fires in 2001 and 2006 that damaged federal lands. The White House said Tuesday that the evidence against them was "conflicting" and the jury acquitted them on most of the charges.
The Hammonds were initially given sentences of three months to a year. Trump blamed the Obama administration for filing an "overzealous appeal" because the judge's sentence was too lenient under federal sentencing guidelines. That appeal sent the Hammonds back to prison.
The Hammond case was a rallying cry for the "sovereign citizen" movement, which is supported by some Western ranchers who oppose federal control of grazing lands. Ammon Bundy, son of Cliven Bundy, one of the leaders of the movement, cited it in his occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016.
"Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these grants of executive clemency," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
They are the sixth and seventh pardons Trump has granted during his presidency – but the first granted to petitioners who applied for clemency to the Office of the Pardon Attorney. Trump's previous five pardons bypassed that process.
The Hammonds sought only a commutation of their prison sentences to allow them to be released early. Dwight Hammond is 76 and Steven is 49.
Instead, Trump gave them each a full pardon, restoring all their civil rights.