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Top 10 Elected Officials Who Wrote Letters on Behalf of Pardon Applicants

ProPublica obtained correspondence on behalf of pardon applicants between elected officials and the Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney through a Freedom of Information Act request. Below are the 10 elected officials who wrote on behalf of the most applicants. For all of the letters and emails, see our document dive.

Petitioner Total Letters Written Total Individuals Supported Committee Assignments Pardon Rate Donors
Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss. 14 10
  • Senate Joint Committee on the Library
  • Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
  • Senate Committee on Appropriations
  • Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
1 of 10 pardoned None found
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. 8 7
  • Senate Select Committee on Intelligence - Vice Chairman
  • Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry
  • Senate Armed Services Committee
  • Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
  • Senate Special Committee on Aging
0 pardoned William Clark and Robert Reeves
Rep. John M. Spratt Jr., D-S.C. 6 5
  • House Committee on Armed Services
  • House Committee on the Budget - Chairman
1 of 5 pardoned None found
Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C. 8 4
  • Senate Committee on Foreign Relations - Chairman
  • Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry - Chairman
0 pardoned None found
Sen. John Breaux, D-La. 6 4
  • Senate Special Committee on Aging, Ranking Minority Member
  • Senate Committee on Finance
  • Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
  • Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
0 pardoned None found
Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn. 5 4
  • Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
  • Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
  • Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Senate Special Committee on Aging
0 pardoned Frank Vennes Jr. (redacted)
Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., R-Tenn. 5 4
  • House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
  • House Committee on Natural Resources
0 pardoned None found
Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala. 4 4
  • Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs - Ranking Member
  • Senate Committee on Appropriations
  • Senate Special Committee on Aging
0 pardoned Republican donor
Sen. David Vitter, R-La. 4 4
  • Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
  • Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
  • Senate Committee on Armed Services
  • Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
0 pardoned None found
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. 7 3
  • House Financial Services Committee
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
1 of 3 pardoned None