Prior to the former president’s Sunday campaign appearance in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, the super PAC backing Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), Never Back Down, reportedly released a new video criticizing him for pardoning former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
The advertisement, titled “Welcome to Detroit,” describes how Kilpatrick was given a 28-year sentence for corruption and fraud in 2013 and how Trump reduced it on his final day in office in 2021.
The film makes reference to how rich businessman Peter Karmanos informed Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a former aide in the White House, of the clemency plea before Trump shortened his sentence.
Trump’s commutation for Detroit’s corrupt Democrat Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was business as usual for the Swamp.
Why'd he do it? pic.twitter.com/736851QNr4
— Never Back Down (@NvrBackDown24) June 25, 2023
Trump pardoned more than 100 individuals before he left office, including Kilpatrick. Others included GOP donor Elliot Broidy, musician Lil Wayne, and his former senior strategist Steve Bannon.
Additionally, it comes as DeSantis and his allies intensify their criticism of Trump about criminal justice in an effort to paint the previous president as lenient toward crime.
The First Step Act, a bipartisan law that was approved in 2018 and was signed by Trump, cut the mandatory minimum sentences, provided credits for well-behaved offenders seeking shorter terms, and attempted to minimize recidivism, according to DeSantis’ announcement.