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Former Ocean County Republican Chairman George Gilmore. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Gilmore pardon unlikely, Vicari says

By Nikita Biryukov, December 23 2020 11:39 am

Ocean County Freeholder Director Joe Vicari doesn’t believe President Donald Trump will pardon former Ocean County Republican Chairman George Gilmore.

“Is there a possibility? I don’t think so,” he said Wednesday. “I don’t think that’s going to happen. I don’t think George Gilmore has that much influence.”

Gilmore, a longtime Republican county chairman who has remained active in Ocean politics since leaving the post last April, was convicted on federal tax charges last year. He was sentenced to 366 days imprisonment in January.

Kevin Marino, Gilmore’s attorney, last month told Politico New Jersey the former chairman was not seeking a pardon from Trump, saying he believed his client’s appeal would be successful.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld his conviction earlier this month. Gilmore has a close relationship with Bill Stepien, who managed Trump’s re-election campaign.

That relationship may be enough to earn a pardon from Trump, who on Tuesday offered clemency to two former GOP congressmen, a former campaign aid convicted of lying to investigators on former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian interference probe and a host of others.

But the outcome is far from certain, and it’s not clear whether Gilmore is lobbying the president for a pardon.

“There’s talk either way on that,” Vicari said. “It’s something that I don’t know. I’m not aware of it. I’m not in the inner circle.”

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