After teasing on Monday that he would pardon someone “very, very important” the next day, President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced he was pardoning famed suffragette activist Susan B. Anthony over her 1872 arrest for voting as a woman.
Trump announced the pardon during the White House’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
In 1872, Anthony was arrested for voting illegally and charged $100.
“She was never pardoned. Did you know that? She was never pardoned,” Mr. Trump said. “What took so long?”
“She was guilty for voting,” Mr. Trump added, “and we’re going to be signing a full and complete pardon.”
Trump’s pardon of Anthony appears to be an attempt to take media attention away from the Democratic National Convention, which started on Monday. Trump teased reporters traveling on Air Force One that he would be pardoning an important figure, though he added at the time that it would not be former national security adviser Michael Flynn or Edward Snowden, who has recently returned returned to the spotlight after Trump said Saturday that he was considering a pardon for him.
Snowden previously worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency and leaked information to the media regarding the agency’s cellphone meta-data collection program. As The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti reported, the “program never really yielded results.”
Trump’s move to pardon Anthony has not been welcomed by mainstream media outlets, even though she is an important historical figure. The New York Times took the opportunity to describe Anthony as “an increasingly divisive figure, adopted by anti-abortion forces and criticized for relegating Black suffragists to the sidelines.”
The Times then used the occasion to mention that Trump “has repeatedly been accused of sexual harassment or assault” while failing to note that none of the accusations have resulted in any convictions and most of the allegations were made while Trump was running for the presidency – and have since gone nowhere.
Biden has a massive lead with women voters according to current polls. Hillary Clinton won women voters by about 13 percentage points in 2016 even though 52% of white women voted for Trump.
During the White House event honoring the 19th Amendment, Trump said Anthony “got a pardon for a lot of other women. And she didn’t put her name on the list,” according to USA Today. Trump signed a proclamation commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment with First Lady Melania Trump standing at his side.
“It was a monumental victory for equality for justice, and a monumental victory for America,” Trump said.
USA Today also reported that Trump said last week that he supported a bill introduced by Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) that would create a 22-foot monument dedicated to the suffragists and the 19th Amendment. The monument would be called “Every Word We Utter” and “include depictions of Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Harriot Stanton Blatch, Ida B. Wells and Alice Paul,” the outlet reported.
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