The recipients of Trump's pardons and commutations have this in common: They are famous and/or rich. Their crimes involve corruption that victimized society. Trump clearly favored those who violated the public trust. (See NY Times link below. Paywall for non-subscribers)
He never specified what Trump meant when he repeatedly promised to "drain the swamp". The following names would probably be on most people's list of swamp-dwellers. Perhaps when Trump said he'd "drain the swamp" he meant that he'd make life more comfortable for the swamp-dwellers. Much in the same way the Everglade swamps were drained by land developers to build a comfortable environment for the rich in Palm Beach, home to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.
COMMUTATION Rod R. Blagojevich
Former Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2011 for trying to sell or trade to the highest bidder the Senate seat that Barack Obama vacated after he was elected president. Mr. Blagojevich's expletive-filled remarks about his role in choosing a new senator — "I'm just not giving it up for nothing" — were caught on government recordings of his phone calls and became punch lines on late-night television.
In 2010, while Mr. Blagojevich was awaiting trial, he was a contestant on "The Celebrity Apprentice," a reality series hosted by Mr. Trump. Mr. Blagojevich was fired at the end of the fourth episode of the season.
PARDON Edward DeBartolo Jr.
Edward DeBartolo Jr., a former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, pleaded guilty in 1998 to concealing an extortion plot by a former governor of Louisiana. Mr. DeBartolo was prosecuted after he agreed to pay $400,000 to the former governor, Edwin W. Edwards, to secure a riverboat gambling license for his gambling consortium.
PARDON Ariel Friedler
Ariel Friedler, a technology entrepreneur, pleaded guilty in 2014 to conspiracy to access a protected computer without authorization and served two months in prison, according to a statement from the White House.
COMMUTATION Tynice Nichole Hall
Tynice Nichole Hall was sentenced in 2006 after she was convicted on various drug charges in Lubbock, Texas, according to the Justice Department. The evidence at trial showed that Ms. Hall's residence was used as a stash house for drugs by her boyfriend, who was the main target of an investigation, according to court documents. The police found large quantities of crack and powder cocaine and loaded firearms in her apartment.
PARDON Bernard B. Kerik
Bernard B. Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to eight felony charges, including tax fraud and lying to White House officials. Mr. Kerik, who was a close ally of former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, took responsibility for his actions.
Mr. Kerik's rise to prominence dates to the 1993 campaign for mayor in New York City, when he served as Mr. Giuliani's bodyguard and chauffeur.
PARDON Michael R. Milken
Michael R. Milken was the billionaire "junk bond king" and a well-known financier on Wall Street in the 1980s. In 1990, he pleaded guilty to securities fraud and conspiracy charges and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, though his sentence was later reduced to two years. He also agreed to pay $600 million in fines and penalties. Mr. Milken was the inspiration for the Gordon Gekko character in the film "Wall Street."
COMMUTATION Crystal Munoz
Crystal Munoz was found guilty in 2008 of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, according to a petition filed by the Criminal Defense Clinic at the Texas A&M University School of Law. Ms. Munoz, who was sentenced to nearly two decades in prison, drew a map that her friends used in a large marijuana trafficking operation, according to Rolling Stone.
COMMUTATION Judith Negron
Judith Negron was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2011 for her role in orchestrating a $205 million Medicare fraud scheme as the owner of a mental health care company in Miami.
PARDON Paul Pogue
In 2010, Paul Pogue, the founder and former chief executive of a large construction company in Texas, was sentenced to three years of probation and was ordered to pay $723,0000 in fines and restitution for filing false income tax statements, according to the McKinney Courier Gazette.
PARDON David Safavian
David Safavian, the top federal procurement official under President George W. Bush, was sentenced to a year in prison in 2009 for covering up his ties to the lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Mr. Safavian, a former chief of staff at the General Services Administration, was convicted of obstruction of justice and making false statements.
PARDON Angela Stanton
Angela Stanton, an author, television personality and motivational speaker, served six months of home confinement in 2007 for her role in a stolen-vehicle ring. Her book "Life of a Real Housewife" explores her difficult upbringing and her encounters with reality TV stars.