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Dwight Hammond, 76, and his 49-year-old son Steven, had served their sentences - Dwight 3 months and Steve 1 year - for setting a backfire on their property that burned a section of land claimed by the federal government. The two were initially sentenced to less than the legal minimum five-year prison sentence for their crimes, but a federal judge in 2016 ordered the pair returned to serve the full five years, after the father had spent three years in prison and the son four. Prosecutors later successfully appealed the lenient sentences, and the Hammonds were resentenced in 2015 to serve full five-year prison terms. He also wanted an easier sentence for Dwight and Steven Hammond, who had both previously rejected his assistance.

The pardon power has its most compelling use when correcting a government injustice. "It's the kind of thing tin-pot dictators do, not American presidents".

In 2014, Ammon Bundy and his father Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher, were involved in an armed standoff with federal agents trying to confiscate the father's cattle for his refusing to pay fees for grazing on public land.

The Hammonds were released from jail Tuesday afternoon.

Aides say that Trump has been especially drawn to cases in which he believes the prosecution may have been politically motivated - a situation that may remind him of his own position at the center of the ongoing special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling.

"The evidence at trial regarding the Hammonds' responsibility for the fire was conflicting, and the jury acquitted them on most of the charges", the statement said.

The second arson in 2006 came as firefighting crews were battling lightning-started wildfires on BLM land. These folks were all being oppressed by The Man-and the Hammonds in particular were oppressed by Barack Obama-so pardoning them is a politically useful stunt.

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When confronted by a firefighter the following day, Hammond admitted to starting the fire, Williams wrote. Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, a key protester according to The Chicago Tribune, was fatally shot on January 26 by Oregon State Police.

"Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants of Executive Clemency", the White House said.

The Center for Western Priorities, a conservation group, issued this statement.

The dozens of armed people who occupied the refuge near the Hammond ranch for 41 days said the Hammonds were victims of federal overreach.

"It's a little spooky that's how far they will go", she said.

Trump has also said on Twitter he could pardon himself in case he would be convicted as a result of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential elections.


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