Trump is reportedly considering pardon for Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht

The U.S. President Donald Trump is said to be weighing a pardon for Ross Ulbricht, founder of the now-defunct dark web marketplace Silk Road who is serving a life sentence.

According to a report from The Daily Beast on Tuesday, the White House counsel office has been reviewing the documents related to Ulbricht's case. Citing three people with knowledge of the matter, the report said Trump was informed of the case recently as well as the pleas from Ulbricht's allies. 

Based on two of the three people familiar with the discussions, the report added that Trump "has at times privately expressed some sympathy for Ulbricht’s situation."


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As such, Trump has been considering Ulbricht, among others, for the next round of commutations and pardons prior to the inauguration of his 2020 presidential election opponent Joe Biden, the report said.

Ulbricht operated the Silk Road dark web marketplace under the alias of DPR, or Dread Pirate Roberts, from 2011 to 2013. The site, once a billion dollars business used for selling drugs and weapons, was shut down by the Federal Bureau of Investigation following the arrest of Ulbricht in late 2013.

In 2015, he was sentenced to serving a double life sentence without the possibility of parole.

It's unclear if or when the Trump administration will make a decision on the Ulbricht case. The Daily Beast said Ulbricht has gained support from some influential figures within Trump's political and social circle.

About Author

Wolfie joined The Block’s news team in 2020 and switched to the research side in 2021 to focus on crypto mining analysis. Prior to The Block, he had been a journalist at CoinDesk for three years. Wolfie has a background in financial journalism.