“Leaving Them In is a Death Sentence” – Activist asks Trump to Pardon Conservative Political Prisoners

In recent days left wing activists have been publicly talking about persecuting and prosecuting Trump supporters.  Others claim that work has been long underway by the Department of Justice.

The DOJ, according to these voices, has been actively engaged in criminalizing political dissidents on the right for some time.

Kent Erickson, an activist who publishes a list of center-right political prisoners he calls the “Unjust Justice” list, has identified 8 specific individuals in need of a pardon by President Trump. 

The Presidential pardon power is one of the few absolute powers held by the Executive, without the need of review or oversight by another branch, providing a last-resort remedy to potential injustices through the judiciary envisioned by the Constitution’s founding fathers.

Arkansas State Senator Jon Woods and political consultant Randell Shelton were railroaded by federal authorities. Their case, for these two first-time offenders, involved getting grant money to a Christian College. The movement of that money caused both to be charged with “honest services fraud” because the DOJ didn’t like their efforts to help fund the college. Woods, the first elected official in the state to endorse Trump in 2016, was given an outrageous 18-year sentence, and Shelton received a 6-year sentence after he refused to lie on behalf of the DOJ in Woods’ trial. 

Woods appealed his case because exonerating evidence, he said, was found on a laptop kept from the defense. The FBI wiped that laptop before turning it over to the FBI forensics lab, against a court order. The agent who wiped the laptop, who violated a court order in the process, suffered no repercussions and Woods’ conviction was sustained by the Appellate Court because there was no new evidence to consider, because the FBI destroyed it. The left-leaning National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed an amicus brief in the appeal calling for the convictions to be overturned, but were also ignored.

Robert Watson is a conservative businessman who was given an inept public defender who had him take a plea deal after the DOJ threatened his wife with prosecution. In desperation, involved with a hedge fund that was crashing during the 2008 market, he received another outrageous 20-year sentence for ‘securities fraud.’ Watson is a decorated veteran, and had no prior arrests, only two speeding tickets. 

John Leontaritis is serving a 20-year sentence in Texas due to the DOJ accusing him of participating in drug trafficking. Conservative Christian Leontaritis sold a high-end car to a drug dealer, and properly documented the sale and transaction, and had no involvement with any illegal drugs. Yet he was prosecuted and imprisoned because his customer was a drug dealer. 

Martin Gottesfeld is serving a 10-year sentence for “conspiracy to intentionally damage a protected computer” because he took action to save the life of Justina Pelletier in Boston when the hospital decided to kidnap and mistreat her instead of allowing her parents to treat her. Some allege the hospital tested new treatments on a captive Pelletier while she was removed from parental custody. Gottesfeld engaged in ‘denial of service’ acts that knocked the hospital’s computer networks offline to protest Pelletier’s treatment. 

Philip Zodhiates is serving a 3-year sentence for giving a woman at his parish a car ride. The woman came to him saying she was fleeing an abusive relationship with her three-year-old, and needed to be taken to Buffalo, New York. Zodhiates drove her there and dropped her off. Later he learned she left the country. For this, he was charged with “aiding international kidnapping” for having driven her to Buffalo. Even though the fleeing mother was the custodial parent, she was interfering in her abusive ex’s custody arrangements. Zodhiates ran a direct mail and fundraising firm for conservatives, financing dozens of organizations critical of Obama, and the DOJ offered him his freedom if he would lie in court in order to hurt Liberty University. Zodhiates refused, and now the 65-year-old adopted father of six is incarcerated in Kentucky.

James David Wright was a pastor for nearly three decades in Texas who came under scrutiny by the DOJ after he started a successful Christian school. When the DOJ came after him and accused him of conspiracies and threatened to imprison his wife, he took a plea. Part of that plea confessed to crimes related to a company that he had merely agreed to serve as an interim CEO. This father and grandfather is about to start a 7-year prison sentence in April.

Former Congressman Steve Stockman had his sentence commuted by President Trump right before Christmas, but he is still on probation for three years and has to repay $1.2 million in fines and fees to the government. This is despite the fact he never had control over the funds in question, never received them, and did not spend them. The two donors involved did not complain about how the funds were raised or how they were spent. Stockman is seeking a full pardon to preclude the DOJ from sending him back to prison on a probation violation and is also hoping to avoid the unjust financial repayment.

Stockman has attracted many to his case, including Ted Nugent, several former Members of Congress, and organization leaders as well as authors like Craig Shirley. He is hopeful that these public figures will help him, but also help free the other still-imprisoned conservative political prisoners of the United States Department of Justice. 

“We have to get these guys out, the political left is going to be gunning for our people, and leaving them in there is almost the same as a death sentence,” according to Erickson.

Erickson urges anyone interested in helping these individuals to Tweet at Donald Trump Jr. https://twitter.com/donaldjtrumpjr or send the names to President Trump’s still-existing Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DonaldTrump or to Ted Nugent’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tednugent or Tweet the names to Eric Trump: https://twitter.com/erictrump

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