Trump Announces to Commute Silk Road Founder's Sentence on 'Day One' -
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Trump Announces to Commute Silk Road Founder’s Sentence on ‘Day One’

Former President Donald Trump announced at a Libertarian Party gathering on Saturday that he plans to grant clemency to the founder of the notorious Silk Road online marketplace on his first day back in office.

“And if you vote for me, on day one, I will commute the sentence of Ross Ulbricht,” the former president said, referring to the creator of the dark web website that was used to facilitate the sale of illegal narcotics. That generated an applause from the audience. “He’s already served 11 years … we’re gonna get him home,” he added.

The crowd erupted in applause at his statement. Mr. Ulbricht is presently serving a life sentence for his role in founding and running the Silk Road website from 2011 to 2013. The site was a hub for the sale of illicit drugs and various services until the FBI intervened.

The FBI dismantled the Silk Road in 2013, leading to Mr. Ulbricht’s 2015 conviction on multiple counts, including running a criminal enterprise, drug distribution, online drug trafficking, and various conspiracy charges such as money laundering and trafficking fake IDs. He received a life sentence with no chance of parole.

“It’s time to be winners,” said President Trump, adding: “I’m asking for the Libertarian Party’s endorsement, or at least lots of your votes.”

During his speech, the former president pointed out that Libertarian presidential candidates consistently receive low numbers of votes in elections. “You can keep going the way you have for the last long decades and get your 3 percent and meet again, get another 3 percent,” he said.

The 2020 Libertarian Party nominee, Jo Jorgensen, secured around 1 percent of the votes in several pivotal swing states, such as Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Prior to that, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson garnered approximately 3 percent of the national vote in 2016.

The mention of Mr. Ulbricht aimed to rally Libertarian activists who argue that government investigators went too far in their pursuit of Silk Road and who typically oppose strict drug laws.

Mr. Ulbricht’s case was a hot topic at the Libertarian convention, and many among the hundreds in attendance at President Trump’s speech waved “Free Ross” signs and chanted the slogan as he addressed the crowd.

This event follows President Trump’s recent rally in an unusual location: the South Bronx in New York City, known for its strong Democratic leanings.

“New Yorkers have something called common sense … and old fashioned common sense is exactly what I plan to bring back to the White House,” the former president said at the event, adding, “We are going to make life in New York affordable again.”

President Trump invited a number of speakers to join him on stage, including Republican Representative Byron Donalds from Florida and Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr., a former Democratic city council member in New York and state senator.

“The strategy is to demonstrate to the voters of the Bronx and New York that this isn’t your typical presidential election, that Donald Trump is here to represent everybody and get our country back on track,” Mr. Donalds, who grew up in Brooklyn, told media outlets.

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