Yesterday, Former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik received a phone call that changed his life.
The voice on the cellphone was President Trump saying “Right now, as we’re speaking, I’m signing your presidential pardon.” Kerik was floored. He had no idea he was going to be pardoned.
Kerik said the president told him, “Your record will be expunged. Go on with your life.”
Of that life-changing moment, Kerik said, “It was pretty emotional. I just thanked him several times.”
“I feel good. I feel great,” Kerik, said, according to the New York Post. “A lot of people don’t realize that with a federal conviction, you lose a lot of civil and constitutional rights.
“This president understands that.”
As far as getting on with life, Kerik says there’s one thing in particular he plans on doing: obtaining a gun license to carry again.
He said one important right that was taken away from him until his conviction was overturned was the ability to carry a gun.
He’ll get that back.
“I’ve carried a gun since I’m 18 years old,” the Army vet and former cop said.
After serving in the U.S Army, Kerik began a career in law enforcement which culminated in his appointment as Police Commissioner of New York City, a position he held during the September 11 attacks.
In 2004, President George W. Bush nominated Kerik to lead the Department of Homeland Security, but Kerik quickly withdrew his candidacy, after admitting he had unknowingly employed an illegal immigrant as a nanny. He then became the target of a New York State grand jury investigation by the Bronx District Attorney's Office, and later, the United States Attorney's Office for charges of tax fraud, and making false statements to the federal government regarding loans he received.
In 2010, Kerik was sentenced to four years in federal prison. He was discharged from federal custody on October 15, 2013, and after serving five months' home confinement, his supervised release concluded in October 2016.
Now, thanks to President Trump, he can well and truly put that chapter behind him.
“I’ve always had enormous respect for Donald Trump, especially in the aftermath of 9/11, when he came down several times to the area and helped motivate the men and women who were working there,” said Kerik, who was head of New York City’s Police Department at the time.
“He sent people down there to help and donate.”
Kerik said he was able to vote as soon as his parole ended, which meant he voted in the 2016 presidential election. He voted for Trump.
“Even if this [pardon] didn’t happen, I would have voted for Donald Trump” again, Kerik said.