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Utah Rep. Phil Lyman and Weldon Angelos included in President Trump’s wave of pardons

A Marine stands outside the entrance to the West Wing of the White House, signifying the President is in the Oval Office, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump issued a wave of 20 pardons Tuesday night, including Utah Rep. Phil Lyman and criminal justice activist Weldon Angelos. 

Rep. Lyman was convicted in 2014 for trespassing while leading an ATV protest ride through a closed canyon in southern Utah. A jury found then-San Juan County Commissioner Lyman guilty in 2015, prompting him to face 10 days in prison and pay almost $100,000 in fines. 

“Mr. Lyman is known to be a man of integrity and character who was serving as a county commissioner in Utah when he was subjected to selective prosecution for protesting the Bureau of Land Management’s closure of the Recapture Canyon to ATV riders,” the White House said in a statement. “He had no other criminal history, but he was arrested and sentenced to 10 days in prison and nearly $96,000 in restitution.”

Lyman was among 15 other individuals to receive a full pardon from President Trump, which the White House said was supported by Utah Sen. Mike Lee and former Rep. Jason Chaffetz. 

His pardon wipes the federal conviction from his records, despite him already serving jail time and paying his fines for damages he caused in the canyons. 

“Today is an important day for my family and me, and for rural Utah,” Lyman said in a Facebook post. “To say the last 5 years were difficult would be an understatement. My family has been my salvation in the darkest moments.”


Today is an important day for my family and me, and for rural Utah. To say the last 5 years were difficult would be an…

Posted by Phil Lyman on Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Angelos was also issued a full pardon from President Trump, after he was sentenced to prison for 55 years in 2002 for marijuana and gun possession, adhering to minimum sentence rules. Angelos was eventually released after serving 13 years because of a judicial order calling the sentence “unjust and cruel and even irrational.” 

“Mr. Angelos is an active criminal justice reform advocate and champion of giving second chances,” the White House said. “Because of mandatory minimums, Mr. Angelos was sentenced in 2002 to 55 years’ imprisonment for selling marijuana and carrying a handgun in the course of dealing.”

Angelos later participated in a prison reform summit at the White House in 2018, with his pardon supported by Sen. Lee and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), among others.