“President Trump granted a full pardon to Desiree Perez,” so reads the relevant section of the Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding Executive Grants of Clemency. “Ms. Perez was involved in a conspiracy to distribute narcotics. Since her conviction, Ms. Perez has taken full accountability for her actions and has turned her life around. She has been gainfully employed and has been an advocate for criminal justice reform in her community.”
Perez was arrested in 1994 for conspiracy with intent to distribute narcotics. However, since she cooperated (a/k/a snitched) with the US Attorney’s office, she received a sentence of five years’ probation. Among other offenses, she was later charged with a parole violation and served nine months in prison in 1999, the article also stated.
“I’m grateful to have received a pardon and to have formally closed that chapter of my life in the eyes of the law,” Perez, now 52, said in a statement Wednesday morning. “I have taken full accountability for my mistakes from 25 years ago, but I also take tremendous pride in my personal growth, perseverance and accomplishments since then. This pardon reinforces my lifelong commitment to advocate for criminal justice reform and social justice initiatives.”
But, of course, the real question that folks are asking is how did the pardon come about? Inside speculation naturally points at Van Jones. After all, he’s a lawyer, author and CNN contributor who is represented by Roc Nation . It’s only natural to assume that he may have helped to navigate the treacherous waters of the Trump Administration, although a source close to the situation denied that Jones was involved.
The article points out that, Roc Nation declined Variety‘s requests for further comment and an interview with Jones.
Here’s more from the Variety article:
Perez’s pardon took many by surprise and also spurred some questions related to the Roc Nation roster, namely: did efforts to obtain the Presidential favor explain why so few Roc Nation artists campaigned on behalf of the Democratic ticket, both in the Presidential race and in Georgia, where two Senate seats were hotly contested? While Alicia Keys and Megan Thee Stallion showed support on social media and through other organizations, their participation hardly compared to appearances Beyonce and Jay-Z made on behalf of the Obama-Biden ticket. While the number of voters who might be swayed by celebrity endorsements might not seem overly significant, in a race that both sides knew was likely to be decided by razor-thin margins in many districts and states, Republicans knew that every vote they could keep out of the other side’s camp was important. A source close to the situation stressed that Roc Nation does not impose itself in its artists’ political involvement.
However, one source familiar with Perez and the former administration wouldn’t blame Roc Nation for playing it safe. “As anyone who’s worked with the Trump White House knows, you can’t piss him off or he will take revenge.”
Get the FULL story of how Roc Nation CEO Desiree Perez got a Trump pardon at Variety.