White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders cited “broad support” for Michael Behenna, of Edmond, Okla., “from the military, Oklahoma elected officials, and the public” — including 37 generals and admirals, along with a former Pentagon inspector general — as the reason for Trump’s clemency grant. Sanders also said Behenna had been a “model prisoner” while serving his sentence.
“In light of these facts, Mr. Behenna is entirely deserving of this Grant of Executive Clemency,” Sanders concluded.
According to Breitbart:
President Donald Trump pardoned Army Lieutenant Michael Behenna, who was prosecuted and convicted of killing prisoner Ali Mansur Mohamed during his deployment in Iraq.
Behenna was convicted in 2009 of the unpremeditated murder of Mohamed, despite his claim that he acted in self-defense after Mohamed reached for his gun. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison but was released early on parole.
As The Oklahoman reports, Michael Behenna won’t ignore phone calls from the president of the United States anymore. He was on the phone with his father when he saw a strange number pop up on the screen.
“I didn’t answer it,” Behenna said. “My voicemail says … it’s the White House. The president wants to talk to you. When you get a chance, call this number back. I was in shock. I called back and (they) said the president is on the other line. He’ll call you back. A minute later, the president called back. He goes, ‘This is the president. I just want to let you know you’re fully pardoned. You’re record is being expunged.”
Behenna said his conversation with President Trump was a very emotional one.
“I’m not kidding you, I was sweating,” he said. “My heart was beating fast. I had big ol’ tears in my eyes. He said he’d heard about my case, and ‘you have a lot of support behind you. Your case came highly recommended.’ I’m choked up and I’m trying to say, ‘Thank you very much.’”
Behenna will have his freedoms restored, including the right to travel where he wishes, when he wishes.
“It feels great,” he said. “The ball and chain is gone.”
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