Kerik Had ‘Hit Bottom.’ Then Trump Pardoned Him.

Once hailed as a national hero, Bernard Kerik was struggling for work and living on the margins of power until his friends ascended in Washington.

Comments: 187

  1. I abhor Mr. Kerik’s politics, but when he was Commissioner at the New York City Department of Correction, I worked there as well as a computer programmer. After the Y2K cleanup, he brought us all into a conference room and thanked us personally. At least in our case he treated his subordinates respectfully. I never forgot that. None of my friends at other agencies had their commissioner even acknowledge them at all. I was saddened to hear that he had been incarcerated. I am glad that he’s free.

  2. @Jesse You obviously knew and still know nothing about him.

  3. @Jesse So you are saying that since he thanked his employees verbally, that you are just fine with his ethics? Is clear bribery all right in your books as long as you are acknowledged? Have you even acknowledged to yourself what he actually did? Incidentally, he was already "free" from prison; he finished his sentence.

  4. @Jesse I think you value yourself too low if you are swayed by the fact that this wheeler-dealer deigned to acknowledge your and your colleagues' existence. But I am glad to hear that he possesses some human decency. However, his crimes were large-scale and systematic and involved dishonesty by a public official. He should have served out his sentence.

  5. Funny how law and order folks only care about law when it isn't their tribe.

  6. A pardon means you admit to your crimes and accept that you're guilty. Kerik sounds like he thinks what he did was okay. He's just mad he got caught accepted $165k in free renovations ffrom a contractor seeking a license from the city. Makes sense that he supported Eddie Gallagher who was also pardoned and must accept his guilt. Friends in low places...the ultimate in bro culture. I guess tax fraud and making false statements is no big deal as long as you're "important" and a friend of Trump.

  7. @Another one Being white helps too.

  8. From reading about Mr. Kerik's pardon, it pays to have know people in positions in power. After all, he [Kerik] benefited from it.

  9. Here's the detail on Kerik's crime you aren't focusing on, from the Times' coverage of his first guilty plea: "He acknowledged accepting the renovations in late 1999 and in 2000 from a large New Jersey contractor, Interstate Industrial Corporation, which has been accused of having ties to organized crime, an accusation it has repeatedly denied. He said he also talked to city officials and Trade Waste regulators about the company, which was seeking a license from the city. At the time, he was the city's correction commissioner." That's bribe taking, from a likely mob-connected source, and the fact that Kerik was allowed to plead to a misdemeanor after taking over $150,000 was favor enough for a guy with friends in high places. This pardon is a disgrace.

  10. These guys (yes they are) have no problem that other convicted felons face these obstacles to rehabilitation. They think it’s an outrage ... and. outrageous ... those impediments hinder the convicted felons who are their friends. Nice to see other convicted felons rising to his defense, and to see what they think is and isn’t lobbying. And all in the name of fairness, no less.

  11. Vets get “extra credit”? Sure, vets should get extra credit in all sorts of things. I agree with the special license plates, special parking, priority airplane boarding, shop discounts- to name some I’ve seen. Maybe there should even be others. Boosted health insurance, continuing education & job training, discounted phone & internet service, better loan rates? Ok! But extra credit for crime? No way. Nobody gets extra credit for that.

  12. The meritocracy, in a nutshell. Regardless of the merit, or lack thereof, of Mr. Kerik's record and past, it is who you know that matters. Previous administrations did a better job making this less apparent (or at least tried). This one lays it bare. Refreshing, in a way.

  13. If Donald Trump pardons you, you have done something horrible.

  14. Welcome back, Bernie.

  15. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

  16. I still call him "convict" on social media.

  17. @Kenneth I use "convicted felon."

  18. Whether it's Kerik or just anyone with either a misdemeanor or felony conviction, particularly non-violent offenders, the convictions severely restrict careers, employment and travel- even after appropriate reparations have been made. I am not excusing Mr Kerik or any one else with a conviction, but there needs to be some way a rehabilitated offender can progress on with life and career. Expungement is not always possible- each state has different laws, as do the Feds, some states prevent expungement or sealing of possession of a small amount of marijuana- which in turn prevents many employment situations. So- the takeaway is- if Mr Kerik claims the conviction stands in his way- even after rehabilitation- what about those who do not have friends in high places.

  19. Drug dealers are non violent. Just because you dont KILL someone you cannot claim to be non-violent. Bankruptcies often cause despair, and lead to suicide. The financial system may be responsible for the despair, and so at least accessory to the death. Possibly of many.

  20. @robin Some restrictions are clearly unnecessary and should be removed (in some states, one can't get a license to be a hairdresser with a felony conviction). On the other hand, it makes perfect sense that a conviction for making false statements should prevent one from obtaining a security clearance.

  21. @robin Kerik has a right to go on with his life, but not in the profession that he disgraced. Would you let an incompetent. impaired, or corrupt physician continue to practice? He should not be lecturing anyone about the law or the criminal justice system.

  22. “Then, in 2009, he pleaded guilty to federal charges of tax fraud and making false statements.” Only in the age of trump can a person be it Kerik or Blagojevich plead guilty and then claim victim hood. The only saving grace is the acceptance of the pardon also carries with it the admission of guilt.

  23. @Carlton James So does his original guilty plea.

  24. I’m having the hardest time explaining this to my children. As a matter of fact, I can’t really explain any of this at all to myself in a manner I can understand. They start by talking about the president, and things he has said, his philandering, and his seemingly lack of decency and integrity. They then ask how Christian Evangelicals support him so fiercely, although his life runs counter to true Christianity. I have to admit to them that I can’t understand it myself. Then they talk about his impeachment, and subsequent acquittal for high crimes and misdemeanors. Once again I have to tell them that I’m as puzzled as they are. Then comes the discussion of the pardons. They are starting to believe (and maybe rightly so) that there is no such thing as justice for all in this country, and believe that crime pays for select people. Once again I find myself unable to explain, but agreeing with them.

  25. @Bill - if you want to be honest with them, tell we have a mess of things, and it's going to be up to them to fix it.

  26. That's always been my mantra since '15 when he drifted down the golden escalator and then spewed racist hatred of immigrants. How do supporters explain him to children? I shudder to think of some conversations.

  27. Why are people puzzled that evangelicals support trump? Are any of them intelligent? I've seen no evidence of it.

  28. No where here has he stated any remorse for the illegal acts he committed. It goes without saying that had he been someone without connections, he would never have received a pardon for the same crimes

  29. The article makes no follow up regarding the financial obligations and liens. Are these being forgiven as well. He obviously is going to make significan money now. Is the Government going to pursue their (our) money.

  30. @Fred If it was you or I they would.

  31. Ah, the benefits of having low friends in high places ...

  32. Conservative politics allows people who can’t get a job in the private sector a means to wealth and privilege. Kerik couldn’t get a job because he’s a felonious liar who wanted to make money in security and government (bad fit!) but you could go to judicial appointments, Fox News experts, and electoral candidates and see nothing but people without serious skills and aptitude using loyalty as a means to income. And then there are the plain grifters.

  33. I lived in New York City long before, during and after this guy was NYPD commish. He should stay where he was.

  34. Hit bottom in a $2 million house? please.

  35. So sympathetic to someone who is obviously corrupt like Rudy and Trump. Whitewashing someone isn't a good idea. Supporting Eddie Gallagher is frightening. All of his colleagues went on a limb to attest to his savagery and yet you ignore them. Doesn't add up. Please don't do an article like this on Harvey Weinstein. He doesn't need recuperating he needs to admit his abomination of abuse.

  36. I wish Trump and his cronies in the justice department would establish a task force to rewrite the federal penal code. It is an incredibly harsh criminal code, almost on par with a state like California where criminal legislation is a political football. the federal mandatory minimums are a joke and were pushed through by Republican politicians in Congress long ago. Unfortunately, for Trump and his cronies political reform is a very individualized endeavor. It could be that actual reform is just too much work, but it's more likely they don't care about anyone but their small privileged and constantly under attack group.

  37. The manner in which this article glosses over Kerik’s crimes and conviction is disgusting; the manner in which Kerik glosses over his crimes and convictions is disgusting. While I support criminal justice reform and believe that those who have served their time deserve an opportunity to move on with their lives, Mr. Kerik is the least of my concerns.

  38. Trump would pardon Weinstein It is conviction is affirmed.I’m not comparing the erstwhile producer to Kerik per sé, but was so self important in his heyday that he had the nerve to accept those gifts from city contractors when he was appointed to be national security adviser, He knew he had to submit his tax returns and he would be investigated, and he did so anyway, and was oblivious (or didn’t care) that there were obviously some problems with his taxes. That’s known as hubris.

  39. @Gregory Now if trump would ever submit his tax returns maybe we'd have almost the same article about him.

  40. This is a bizarre article. Ginning up support for Kerik because he now is an advocate for criminal justice reform?! Keri is having hard time getting back to his previous level of wealth?! Let's look at the photos supporting this story: Kerik with the war crimes guy who Trump pardoned (Eddie Gallagher) says a world. So too the photo of him with the mercenaries in Iraq and the photo of him fawning over Rudy, Lots of criminals to be seen. From being a cop, Kerik became one of the highest ranking/paid individuals in New York City government. How did he get elevated to police commissioner? Well, there are banana republics in Africa where driving for the strong man is a stepping stone to money and power. Driving for the mayor of NYC seems to work just fine as well. (I believe Kerik is the first NYC police commissioner to not have a college degree.) Did Kerik do anything of note as Commissioner? Besides a party for Y2K workers, while he was in office. Dan Barry/JDG: "so he can get back to his former life" style. Wow! He's living in a multi million dollar home now and wearing $200 ties. What is this story about? How did it happen? Where's the journalism?

  41. @John Swift21 I think you misunderstood...this article's premise is one of the same disgust you and I feel for this type of amoral conservative, who brands the poor as reprehensible, but themselves, who have no morals, as conservative (so they think they are vindicated because they did not support Castro).

  42. @John Swift21 I don’t think the article was supportive of Kerik, nor was that the intention. The photo of him with the War Criminal Gallagher alone turned my stomach.

  43. I really don't understand the tone of this article and others like this that the Times runs. Poor Bernard Kerik, it was hard for him to get barely legitimate consulting contracts and speaking gigs because he was a corrupt felon? Who cares? Like the article says, he's got a government pension and a 2 million dollar house. I really don't care about him at all, as long as he continues to be law abiding. And the new found conservative interest in criminal justice reform makes me sick.

  44. The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

  45. Military service or not, a crook is a crook.

  46. Ridiculous. Criminal justice reform for only the wealthy and well connected. So much for justice for all. Now Kerik worries about the negative impacts of incarceration when it effects him. Hypocrisy

  47. Birds of a feather flock together. Kerik, Guiliani and Trump. Not much different, one from another, I would say. Also don’t forget Kerik’s connection to “Larry” Ray of Sarah Lawrence College “fame”. Let’s get one thing straight. Kerik was never ever a hero. He brought disgrace to the NYPD through his actions as a convicted felon. He plead guilty to numerous felony charges including tax fraud and lying to White House officials during the Bush years. New Yorkers were horrified when he was first elevated from chauffeur bodyguard to Detective, and then Commissioner, of not just one but two agencies in NYC. At that time he didn’t even have a college degree. Please note that a baccalaureate degree is a minimum requirement for all NYPD officers. With hind sight I wonder what quid pro quo might have existed? What did he provide former Mayor Guiliani in order to get elevated thus, over much more qualified NYPD senior officers? This guy even had an apartment in Battery Park for his then mistress who he met during office hours. Like I said ... birds of feather, flock together!!!

  48. @Banana Citizen Excellent post, but a Bachelors degree is not required, per the following from Education: You must have earned 60 college credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA from an accredited institution or 2 years of active military service in the U.S. Armed Forces in order to be appointed to the title of Police Officer.

  49. A $2,000,000 house with a few hundred thousand in tax liens is "bottom?" Bottom of what?

  50. @Gerry You kidding? 2M for this crowd is chump change. Look at Ivanka and Jared...they earned over 100M last year alone!

  51. I wonder how long it will take before he squanders his good will? A leopard never changes its spots, just climbs another tree.

  52. @Vincent NYC So nobody gets out of prison before serving 100% of their sentence.

  53. As retired NYPD officer, I can assure that the mention of this charlatan's name makes us cringe. It amazed us how this unqualified phony achieved success. Guiliani passed over dozens of successful police executives to appoint his bodyguard Commissioner. He had neither the education nor the experience normally required for that position. On September 11, he opted to return to his bodyguard role rather than directing police operations at the World Trade Center. We were astounded when President Bush nominated him to be the Secretary of Homeland Security, a role he was even less qualified for. His arrogance and ignorance allowed him to accept that nomination despite the huge skeletons in his closet. His persistent arrogance exasperated the judge, leading to his 4 year sentence. Upon release, this ex-con suddenly became a law enforcement expert! His pardon allows this tax cheat to escape paying his over 100 thousand dollar tax debt. President Trump may have pardoned him, but the men and women of the NYPD will never forgive him for the disgrace he brought upon the Department.

  54. @John Well, in November, are "the men and women of the NYPD" going to continue to delude themselves into believing that Republicans are all about "law and order"? Probably.

  55. Well spoken sir.

  56. @george eliot Not just the men and women of the NYPD, unfortunately. In this country, perception that Trump supports law enforcement, and the military, trumps (pun intended) reality.

  57. Chauffer to Commissioner. Not a bad jump. Nothing about the two women he was having an affair with in apartments around ground zero while rescue and recovery personnel were sacrificing their lives by breathing in toxic fumes to save lives or recover bodies? Never confuse opportunism with heroism. Ditto for Giuliani.

  58. @Anam Cara Perfect, and thank you. You got right to this lowlife's core. He has always been nothing but bad news. New Yorkers are ashamed of both him and Guiliani. Neither of them deserves attention, admiration, sympathy, or our interest.

  59. Mr. Kerik is the polar opposite of the hundreds of individuals released from jails and prisons each and every day. He was able to maintain his lovely home in NJ, he has had numerous paid public speaking engagements, he is a regular guest on the Fox channel among others. He just happens to have friends in high places. The rest of us face a daily struggle of living paycheck to paycheck, if we can find work. The many roadblocks in finding housing and employment. No, Mr. Kerik is nothing like the rest of us (myself included) who are released from jails and prisons. To compare his struggles to those the rest of us face in our daily lives in grossly unfair and totally unrepresentative of the true facts of reentry in this country.

  60. I would assume that Mr. Kerik's new crusade for "criminal justice reform" is very narrowly focused upon himself and whoever can pay the price of admission.

  61. @Sam White people that Trump would feel comfortable having lunch with don't belong in prison.

  62. Nothing in this article makes me feel that Kerik should have been pardoned; in fact, I have even less respect for him. As recently as 2004, I had admired him. Live and learn.

  63. This all sounds like he was the best cop money could buy, until he got caught. He's open for business again.

  64. “These are the diminishments of your rights, and they last forever,” Mr. Kerik said. “You can do your time, you can do probation, you can be a model citizen for the rest of your life. That stuff stays with you.” No kidding. Perhaps now Mr. Kerik will go on a speaking tour explaining to Republicans why ex-convicts who have been disenfranchised in some states should regain their right to vote. And please emphasize that the fact that some of them may vote for Democrats is not a reason to diminish their rights for life.

  65. You can see why trump would think that Kerik's corruption would be no big deal at least compared to his own.

  66. Didn't Kerik also commandeer a downtown apartment as a love nest? It was meant to be used by 9/11 first responders to rest and recharge? He used it to meet his mistress? How ugly is that bit of corruption? Maybe the author can tell me if I remembered correctly.

  67. @Marky A : You remember correctly (and so do I) - but it was for extramarital trysts with two women, one a "celebrity book editor" and the other a city corrections officer. Things became dicey when one found a love note the other had left for him. He also assigned two NYC homicide detectives to search for items the editor claimed had been stolen: a necklace (later found in her handbag); a credit card (left behind at a pharmacy); and a cellphone (found in a TV studio where the she had been).

  68. In the inverted totalitarian world that is now America, we can fully expect him to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom at the next State of the Union/Trump Campaign rally.

  69. More proof that organized crime has taken over our government. All the pardons in the world won't change the fact that Kerik sold his public position for his own financial benefit. The fact that he worked in law enforcement makes his corruption even worse. Now he and his pals are crying "poor Bernie", and he's pardoned by another crook who won't even acknowledge that his call for the death penalty for the Central Park 5 was wrong, even after they were exonerated by DNA evidence.

  70. "Couldn't get work." I thought they locked him out of the local Manpower Offices or something.

  71. Wash dishes. Pump gas. Serve homeless people.

  72. Trump, and Republicans in general, showed themselves willing to lionize a war criminal who murdered civilians for fun. Is anyone surprised that Trump would pardon a politically useful pal who merely took huge bribes while in office? Justice, under Trump, may be many things, but it sure isn't blind.

  73. Kerik's behavior is a stain on the NYC police force. If the "administration" had any respect for people in uniform, they would have distanced themselves from him. But no. In keeping with lawlessness the temporary occupant of the Oval Office, his criminal behavior has been pardoned. And encouraged. Shameful.

  74. Great article, @NYT. The photo of Kerik with Eddie Gallagher adds to the narrative. As has been said, a picture is worth a thousand words.

  75. What makes him so special? This is just another manifestation that white collar crime is not a crime anymore, it's excusable behavior. Walk into a 7-11 and rob it of $50, that person will spend years in jail and will never get clemency. Evade taxes, you may get a pardon. Seek an abortion in some states you may get charged with a crime. Put a public office up for sale, it's just grounds for clemency. It seems the road to "justice" is to appear on Fox News and hope the President is watching

  76. @Neil Also to pass across the desk a large envelope stuffed. Anyone who thinks that that is not how business is done among gangsters or white collar crooks lives in the Twilight Zone. I grew up in NYC and lived there for many years. Jim Trautman

  77. Criminal is as criminal does.

  78. Wealthy white man with a criminal record laments about how hard it is to find work and earn a living...Oh, geez. Where did I place my violin? The rest of us (especially people of color) have known this since forever.

  79. Convicted of a felony (lying to Justice) and now pardoned. Of course, post incarceration, he came to Jesus in the "unfair" criminal justice reform movement. Especially unfair to him. If your CV is largely appearing on Fox and prostating your self in front of the Golden Image.....well, there might be some office we can grant you.

  80. "The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest of men is exalted". Psalm 12:8

  81. @deb ...and there were "good men" on both sides. It never ends in this criminal administration.

  82. Kerik hit bottom, and he's still there. Let's remember him as the man who took over the hotel room overlooking the smoldering ruins of the WTC (reserved as a refuge for first-responders doing the actual work) to use for rendezvous with his girlfriend. Creeps gonna creep.

  83. Gritter Kerik does not deserve any breaks.

  84. The swamp creatures return.

  85. @David They've been here for 3 years.

  86. One reason I do not like "ultra conservatives" -- it seems they justify illegal thuggery (for Police Chiefs no less) and this is especially true with the immoral President named Trump. He belongs with this crowd, that is Kerik, but redemption is disgusting. Shows what Trump really supports, killers of civilians and thieves, to say nothing of liars.

  87. Someone needs to clarify what all this consulting/security work that the likes of Kerik, Bo Dietl etc. do. Its helping criminals. And not as their lawyers defending them. Just straight up helping them do their thing. Didn't anyone see the Wolf of Wall Street, with Bo Dietl proudly playing himself, helping Jordan Belfort? Boohoo, Kerik couldn't get more work helping criminals.

  88. For those in NYC at 9/11, Kerik deserves this ...

  89. @Joel Levine No, he does not.

  90. @Joel Levine He is slime compared to the heroic first responders that lost their lives trying to help victims. Just an opportunistic crook, like his boss Trump.

  91. Trump also canceled the big fine Kerik owed... Believe me, Kerik hit bottom long before he was caught.

  92. Well, this is America where everyone has a second or even a third chance. Hopefully, this man will not squander an opportunity that POTUS gave him. But, it's in his hands. Though, some comments attributed to him make me wonder if he has really learned from his past mistakes.

  93. @Neil The chances of the latter are as near to zero as you can get.

  94. @Neil Yeah, just like Collins thinks that Trump has learned his lesson from impeachment. Get real!

  95. It is the height of hypocrisy that Mr Kerik should receive a pardon and not those who committed crimes and offenses who were outside the criminal justice system. I don't believe anyone can know the heart of Mr Kerik however some of his failings may be attributable to his strange path to power. It would appear that conservativism as it relates to criminal justice or criminal justice reform is only a mask. To whom much is given much is required. How can you in good conscience equate the criminal misdeeds of the guy who has the keys and the cuffs with the guy he apprehended and sends to Rikers? If anyone should represent the law it must be those who are sworn to make the law and enforce it. Should such an individual brazenly break the law he has bee n paid and sworn to uphold given his rhetoric and knowledge of the system he of all people should pay a higher price. Conservatism is nothing more than tribalism by another name.

  96. The photo with war criminal Eddie Gallagher tells you all you need to know about Kerik.

  97. The biggest "snowflakes" are right wingers who spend time in prison.

  98. What a horrible outcome. A corrupt and arrogant man gets out because of his connections to a corrupt President. Kerik couldn't have cared less about prisoners, inmates, their families or communities. He did care about the typical things that tempt people, money, sex, cheating on taxes, and creature comforts. Just an unapologetic, lying, cheating, entitled creep. Pathetic.

  99. Eddie Gallagher, Giuliani, Newsmax, Fox, Keric, David Safavian, Wayne Allyn Root, George W. Bush, Trump... This article is like a who's who of legally, morally and socially corrupt misfits Good luck in your new job in the Middle East Bernie! I'm sure nobody deserves it more than you!

  100. @biff murphy Who would have thought that Bush would look good in a list like that? Comparatively, that is.

  101. another whining, cartoonish, thuggish grifter. you break the law, you get caught, get sentenced, do your time. then he plays the 'woe is me' card. these guys, (trump; Giuliani; stone; kerik; Manafort; weinstein (sic), play the 'victim' card at every opportunity. boo hoo......Kerik, if you want to be 'honorable', convince Donald J. Trump and Jared Kushner to tour Rikers Island, Spofford, and Attica, with correctional officers that work there and you, and seriously discuss reforms than can be attempted to rehabilitate those there than be redeemed and brought back into society.

  102. The Swamp in DC just turned murkier!! Don’t you just feel the poor man’s grief??

  103. We can only speculate what anyone pardoned (or requesting a pardon) by President Trump, personally knows about him. Let’s ask a simple logical question: what might a former police commissioner know about our President?

  104. @Karl It's no longer a swamp. Now it's a sewer.

  105. These are the new men we’re meant to admire. Venal, priapic, violent, anti-educated, disloyal, obscene. They’ve always been around, now they’re in charge.

  106. @Tom Baroli And they are on the gravy train.

  107. @Tom Baroli Perfectly put.

  108. @Tom Baroli Those six adjectives: Well chosen and oh, so apt.

  109. Yes, "failings and misuses of the system are quickly becoming the norm" within the circle surrounding the President of the United States. Is there no point at which this administration draws a line? Has some self respect? Honors its responsibility to the nation?

  110. @F Bragg Is there no point at which this administration draws a line? Has some self respect? Honors its responsibility to the nation? NO.

  111. @F Bragg No.

  112. @F Bragg No.

  113. Always victims, these people. Never have the strength to be accountable for actions they willingly took. No wonder Trump wants them around.

  114. Kreik served his time and like any other convicted felon, should be given a second chance at life. But he does not deserve a foot up relative to other felons. To me, his willingness to accept Trump's pardon speaks volumes about his lack of character. His time in prison taught him nothing about squandering his integrity for a few dollars.

  115. @Robert K A 17 yer-old kid who holds up a bodega and does his time deserves a second chance. A guy who rose to the pinnacle of law enforcement then broke the law for personal gain not only broke the law, he besmirched the very system he swore to uphold. Kerik's crime was and is more than simply breaking the law, he broke the public trust.

  116. @Robert K I agree that other convicted felons also deserve a second chance but that does not mean that Kerik is not worthy. He served his time.

  117. @Fred The 17 year old might or might not deserve a second chance. He used a weapon and put the lives of others at risk. Breaking the public trust is deserving of punishment, but dos not put lives at risk.

  118. I am reminded of the bankruptcy of John Connally, the Texas Governor sitting next to Kennedy when he was killed, former Democratic born again Republican, Presidential aspirant. He lost everything in bankruptcy except for 200 acres and the modest mansion where he resided. The rich do suffer so, but they don't go bankrupt the same way as poor folks.

  119. Mr. Trump is proving that, to be pardoned, you don't have to be a decent human being who made a mistake, you do need to be well connected and potentially useful later on. The corruption of the Presidency is TOTAL and COMPLETE.

  120. I wish him to find a new rock bottom. I wish him to have plenty of like-minded company there.

  121. Kerik success can be attributed to just one thing and that is his connection with his boss and master Giuliani. It was Giuliani who promoted him to be Commissioner of the NYPD when he was totally unqualified for the job and then W to try to promote him to Sec. of Homeland Security. Talk about the blind leading the blind! All are a bunch of opportunists: W, Giuliani, Kerik and now Trump!

  122. These days, crime pays.

  123. Curiously, this article fails to mention that Kerik's close friends included Lawrence V. "Larry" Ray, who was accused of running a sex cult at Sarah Lawrence College, and was charged, in 2020, with extortion, forced prostitution and forced labor; the two were so close that Ray was the best man at Kerik's third wedding .

  124. It is lovely for the NYTimes to shower sympathy on a special person like Kerik. His multiple felonies, tax fraud, “free” services for a mobbed up contractor, and commandeering of an apartment provided as a place of respite for 911 first responders for his use for multiple affairs qualify him for our serious concern that he’s just not doing well now that he’s out of prison. Presumably, not only should he have been pardoned, but also, like Limbaugh, received the Medal of Freedom in honor of his rehabilitation and his close relationship with Giuliani.

  125. Hope he doesn’t give up his reform work now that it doesn’t affect him

  126. as if normal convicts have a good Time! The us of a are a failed state! your political System as well as the complete society needs an overhaul from the ground!

  127. As Sammy Davis Jr. memorably sang in the theme song for the 1970s detective show Baretta, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time." You'd think a cop would know that.

  128. He wasn't the Interior Minister of Iraq, he was the Interior Minister of the Coalition Provisional Authority

  129. 2 things I learned from this article: that it was connected to NYC area real estate, which has a long-standing problem with corruption (and is dear to Trump’s cold, cold heart) and that it pays to be connected to “important” people who can help you out. Too bad for you if you don’t have a guy.

  130. When you consider the number of convicted felons and other wrong-doers surrounding Trump, you might think he would be indicted under RICO statutes. Of course if Trump pardons all those felons they may no longer be considered fellow racketeers. So I guess we must wait for Trump's tax fraud and money laundering indictments after he leaves office.

  131. This chance at redemption for a 9/11 hero would be celebrated were it not orchestrated by Trump.

  132. @koln99 In what way is Kerik a 9/11 hero? By being in the vicinity?

  133. Let us not forget that the recent round of pardons were timed to send a message to Roger Stone. What? You have a better explanation? We have a bifurcated justice system. Trump makes criminals of poor people legally seeking asylum; seeing America as a beacon of hope. Real criminals like Kerik get special treatment because of their political connections and because Trump wants to influence other proceedings.

  134. Why are presidents allowed to override the justice system? Especially this President?

  135. Kerik's story represents everything that's wrong with this administration today. He was initially promoted to a job he wasn't qualified for; he took advantage of his position to the detriment of taxpayers; he hasn't taken responsibility for his misdeeds, even after time spent in prison; and he wants a clean slate despite his misdeeds. It must be horrible to try and work in security given your conviction while you previously worked in that field. It's supposed to be; it's a deterrent so you won't repeat your crimes and a warning to your future employers. Kerik should consider selling the $2 million "estate" and living a more modest lifestyle with the proceeds.

  136. @LJ As I stated he did not read the fine print on a pardon who you accept it you admit your guilt otherwise why would you take it. Already the money machine rolls in sure he got six figures for his talk in Las Vegas and I bet the mob friends have been in contact. Although there is already enough of them in the White House. Jim Trautman

  137. The way I have it figured, if Trump can pardon enough of his close friends in the red states, the 2020 election will be his in a bag. There will come a day -- relatively soon -- when President Trump will pardon himself and his family for all crimes -- past, present and future -- he and they have ever committed or might ever commit. There will be appeals to the Supreme Court seeking to overturn these pardons on various grounds. The Supreme Court will decide all of these cases by a 5 to 4 margin in favor of the President.

  138. Once a weasel always a weasel.

  139. Anyone else think its just a matter of time before he receives some sort of 'gift' from Harvey Weinstein and decides to pardon him for it?

  140. When will Trump "anoint" him with the now disgraced Presidential Medal of Freedom? He has given it to the worst of society, worthless do-nothings and grifters. The grandeur of the office died when Obama left; now it's simply a haven for criminals, grifters and miscreants.

  141. @RealTRUTH I'm not letting those aberrant people defile how I feel about the Medal of Freedom, the real presidents who have awarded it, or the deserving recipients. The undeserving will always be stains on the list and examples of what happens when too many citizens shirk their responsibility to be informed participants in our society.

  142. Really, if he pardons you, it's just a bribe wearing a very thin disguise.

  143. Back in business as one of trump's role models for children. Liars, tax cheats, thieves, philanders, war criminals

  144. Sure, he’s a meathead and deserved what he got but he paid the price. And though a meathead, his crimes were non-violent and certainly don’t warrant persecution to the grave. But that picture with a twisted maniac like Eddie Gallagher is beyond the pale.

  145. Lol. "“People knew that he came up the ranks as a cop and worked at Rikers....” And probably should be there.

  146. Apparently Mr. Kerik didn't like receiving the type of punishment that he handed out to others. As George Orwell pointed out "Some pigs are more equal than others."

  147. This is the stuff Dems should be publicizing to America. Felon with 2 million dollar home who owes taxes and used NYC apt meant for resting firefighters as his personal apt. Pardon that guy?

  148. Oh,, how sad, convicted felon, appears never to have saved anything despite a life of high paid work, now destitute, unable to pay his taxes. Thank goodness president trump has come to his rescue. Not like he was a drug user or anything like that

  149. Can New York Times detail is criminal activities and heavy handed treatment of Iraqi's citizen during his time in Iraq? Circumstances leading to his removal on the orders directly by president bush directly need to be told to American public. He may not have pulled trigger directly but created environment for others. He returned to US with entitlement of whatever he can do and ended up get caught in criminal behavior. He deservef every bit of punishment, it is unfortunate he was pardoned.

  150. I would think FOX "NEWS" is a match made in Heaven.

  151. One has to wonder what this president has in mind as he pardons and surrounds himself with this criminal element.

  152. @Patrick What does Trump "have in mind"? A coup, perhaps. We can only hope the Pretorian Guards materialize soon.

  153. Long live the Kakistocracy! The Gods have forsaken us.

  154. Rudy Guiliani made his "driver" police commissioner, a position for which Bernie Kerik had zero qualifications. Rudy got him the position in Iraq where he was supposed to get a police force trained, again supremely unqualified, it was a total failure. Then Rudy in his wisdom was about to get this clown made head of Homeland Security, but fortunately Bernie's past caught up with him. He deserves to be in jail, and Rudy should be in a cell next to him.

  155. Just another Jersey mobster with good connections and a flag pin in his lapel. He and his buddy Giuliani made millions by talking tough for a few days after 9-11, but reverted to form when caught using an apartment set aside for workers to rest while cleaning up the World Trade Center rubble. Instead this shining example of New York's finest was using it for trysts with his right-wing publisher girlfriend. At long last the Tea Party has what they always wanted, a government where corruption is rewarded.

  156. He is sad and scary

  157. 14,000 people in line hoping to get presidential pardons and Trump goes right to the bottom of the barrel cause that’s where his sympathies are. Next sleaze to get exoneration is Roger Stone. After that Flynn and Manafort.

  158. The BEST people. Sad.

  159. @Phyllis Dalmatian it’s ONLY THE BEST not to be confused BE BEST lol.

  160. @Phyliss Dalmatian he's draining the swamp, although it's up for debate which swamp is being pumped and where the output is going...

  161. Today's "woke" culture advocates a "pass" for drug dealing and minor assaults. Why not the same for Kerik? He served his time; i.e. an imprisonment that exceeded historical norms; and he's trying to rebuild his life. We give a "second chance" to murderers who have served their sentences. Why not Kerik? Is the drumbeat of criticism merely anti-Trumpism? If Obama had pardoned him, he would have been welcomed with joyous acclaim.

  162. @BD Kerik is a corrupt ex-cop who thinks he's above the law. He has never expressed any contrition or regret for his crime, just whined about his sentence after he pled guilty. His only interest in "criminal justice reform" is how to make sure that white people get away with white-collar crimes. Some hero and advocate for "justice."

  163. Of course we need criminal justice reform. Anyone with eyes should be able to see that, ”woke” or not. But pardoning well-connected white, white-collar criminals is not reform. It's a message that all that matters is who you know. Now this wiseguy can get back to the lifestyle he was accustomed to. The president pardons people his friends like, especially if they appear on Fox News. Meanwhile, thousands of applications for pardons and commutations sit unregarded at the White House, many likely from people who've shown evidence of rehabilitation, unlike this self-pitying fraudster. No wonder millennials see the system as irredeemably corrupt.

  164. @Janice E. Indeed. I think of Leonard Peltier, dying, imprisoned for more than 40 years, convicted of a crime even after all the "witnesses", paid by the government, recanted.

  165. If Trump didn’t offer this disgraceful pardon, he’d still be seen as guilty of tax fraud and in my opinion that doesn’t change. Another example of the utter and complete corruption of the presidency.

  166. Pardoned or not, he was duly charged and convicted. Nothing changes that.

  167. That’s exactly what a presidential pardon does.

  168. This is all very confusing. first he stands for "law and order" except when he breaks the law and is caught by those who are hired to keep the order. Now the keepers of order are call overly zealous in their pursuit of law breakers. Huh? Should a top cop be held to a lower standard? The consistent inconsistency of my fellow conservatives drives me crazy.

  169. @Edd Gosh. It would be nice if there were a least a few of Trump's cronies weren't criminals and thugs. What can be done when murderous Navy Seals and mobsters of every stripe are effortlessly embraced by this administration, and the "opposition party" stands idly by?

  170. "Consistent inconsistency" is otherwise called hypocrisy.

  171. @Edd But, it has ever been thus.

  172. Bernie Kerik for acting Secretary of...??? (There must be some Cabinet opportunity opening up in the near future.) This criminality to piety transformation would make an awesome,compelling storyline of Christian Redemption. Evangelical Friends of the Fake President, get that telegenic“I’ve seen the light” story going! MAGA.

  173. @John Grillo And don't worry the Republican capos and soldiers will fall all over themselves to defend him as a man who did not commit a crime he was pardoned. They need to read the language on the Pardon you admit by taking it that you did the crime. Our system is slowly following apart an Attorney General who does the bidding of the King and now a Supreme Court that follows suit. I love four of the judges appt. by two Republican Presidents who lost the election. The Democrats have never been good at figuring out what the endgame is. Jim Trautman

  174. Kerik, Gallagher, Trump - birds of a feather. Disgusting.

  175. He'll become a multimillionaire and wouldn't be surprised if Trump doesn't put him in his administration as head of the FBI or the DOJ ; he owes him and will be a good Igor .

  176. This guy is a perfect example of what so many Americans appear to admire: a white, tough-talking crook, who calls people names, scoffs at rules and the law and is infinitely certain of himself. Growing up in suburban New Jersey, I knew plenty of these big mouths. So, I’m heartened to know that since men like Kerik and Trump don’t change, they’ll continue to bungle their way through everything and will eventually receive their comeuppance. They just can’t help it.

  177. Lionel Hutz From your lips, to God’s ear. The sooner the better.

  178. @Lionel Hutz : I don't exactly see a presidential pardon as a come-uppance. Plus, Kerik still has tremendous wealth, yet complains about not having the income he was accustomed to. A thoroughly depressing article that contains nothing about humans' better qualities and contains most of what's lousy in America. I would prefer an America with none of these people.

  179. I often wonder what Mr. Trump expects in return for all these pardons. I'm sure he is not doing it out of the goodness of his heart, since he has none. He will always hold it over there heads and remind them often they wouldn't be where they are today without him. That is a burden I wouldn't want to live with knowing how vindictive he can be.

  180. @JJ In return, I'm sure there will be a favor requested of all these people that he pardoned. I shudder to think what the payback will be.

  181. The understatement of the day: Mr. Kerik had been luckier than many returning from prison; he had a modest government pension and a New Jersey home worth nearly $2 million. I'd love to be so lucky.

  182. Lost is this odd story of pseudo-redemption is the fact that many people would benefit from this sort of treatment--a second chance after making a mistake. Unfortunately, they are not the fortunate few with ties to power.

  183. Donald Trump doesn’t do anything without some benefit to him. If he pardoned Kerik it is because he wants Kerik to “do him a favor, though” or he needs Kerik to stay quiet about something he knows. - The fact that the first people who are calling Kerik are saudis can’t be a coincidence.

  184. Meet Donald Trumps new bag man- Bernie Kerik

  185. Chums and bums. Ralph L Seifer, Long Beach, California.

  186. Boohoo. How Kerik suffered! Just another example of the criminal corruption of the Trumps and their henchmen. Even if the Dems win in the 2020 election, we will be living with the fallout of this administration for many years. Like the Nazi era, it will engender intergenerational trauma, both individual and institutional, for several lifetimes.

  187. The Daily News, Post and Newsday all concured he got off way easier than he should have when convicted and commited worse crimes than he was tried for.