Trump pardons in California extend to former congressman


The Iranian-born, Ivy League-trained U.S. citizen has been on a long-running quest to clear his name after a a 2011 conviction — later overturned — on a charge of violating the Iran trade embargo and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. In 2016, he was hoping for a pardon from then-President Barack Obama for two convictions that remain on his record for making false statements to a federal agency, which never came. The Trump administration said the felony charges for making false statements have prevented Banki from resuming a full life, and noted that he has “dedicated himself to his community and maintained a sincere love and respect for the United States.” He was granted a full pardon. Banki was born in Tehran and came to the U.S. when he was 18, going on to earn two degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, then a doctorate in chemical engineering from Princeton University in 2006. The administration said the pardon was supported by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.



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