The second night of the Republican National Convention had a powerful moment shedding light on prison reform, Fox News’ Bret Baier said Wednesday.
“Let’s just stipulate, this is different than any other convention: This is the president of the U.S. at the White House,” Baier told “Fox News @ Night.”
“Just the venue itself provides a different grandeur to the moment,” Baier said.
“This is also provided at this moment with Jon Ponder, now, the CEO with Hope for Prisoners. He was a man arrested for bank robbery. Ponder and the FBI agent talking about that moment in his finding Jesus and turning to the Lord and changing his life. At this moment, President Trump pardons him and it was a really powerful moment,” Baier said.
WHO IS JON PONDER, BANK ROBBER-TURNED ACTIVIST PARDONED BY TRUMP?
Trump on Tuesday announced a pardon of Ponder as part of the convicted bank robber-turned activist’s appearance at the Republican National Convention.
Ponder, who founded the nonprofit Hope For Prisoners, spoke in a video at the convention along with Richard Beasley, the FBI agent who arrested him.
The president announced the pardon in a video with Ponder and Beasley, calling Ponder’s story “a beautiful testament to the power of redemption.”
“He has created one of the most successful reentry programs, Hope For Prisoners, in Las Vegas,” Trump said in the video taped at the White House. “Hope for Prisoners is a movement that began as a dream, in a tiny prison cell, and is now making a difference in the lives of thousands, truly bringing hope that there is an opportunity and a community that is waiting and willing to offer them a second chance.”
In the convention video, Ponder said: “First person to help me was actually the FBI agent who arrested me, Rich Beasley. He is now a dear friend. My hope for America is that all people regardless of race, color, class or background will take advantage of the fact that we live in a nation of second chances.”
Beasley said of Ponder: “When I met Jon 15 years ago, he was angry, scared and facing years in prison. On the drive to jail, we had a long talk and began to understand each other. Five years later, when he got out of prison, Jon and I met for lunch. He was a different man. He talked about starting a reentry program for men and women coming out of prison. He knew he could make a difference in the lives of ex-offenders.”
The president in 2018 honored both Ponder and Beasley during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden during the National Day of Prayer.
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Baier said the second night of the RNC addressed prison reform.
“Seeing people get out of tough situations and the fact that he had the ability to pardon during this convention was a big moment,” Baier said.
Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly, John Roberts contributed to this report.