Army Officer Pardoned by Trump After Murder Conviction Says He Can't Even Get a Job at Walmart

Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance
Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance salutes while appearing on "Fox & Friends," Nov. 18, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Former US Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, the officer who in 2013 was convicted of war crimes, said it was "impossible to find a job" at a Walmart or Target, despite being granted a full pardon by President Donald Trump last month.

Lorance was sentenced to 19 years in military prison after he was found guilty of second-degree murder by ordering his soldiers to shoot at three unarmed men on a motorcycle in Afghanistan in 2012. Two of the men were killed by machine-gun fire and the third was wounded.

Nine of Lorance's fellow soldiers testified against him in his trial, with some of them alleging that he tried to cover up what he did. Lorance has maintained his innocence and defended his actions as protecting fellow soldiers.

"I made the best decision I could make, given the conditions on the ground," Lorance said on "The Sean Hannity Show" after his pardon in November, adding, "I would make the same exact decision again today if I was faced with that decision."

Lorance had served six years of his sentence when Trump granted him clemency in November. Trump's executive order -- which also dismissed another war-crimes case before trial and reinstated the rank of a convicted Navy chief -- cited the "long history" of presidents who "have used their authority to offer second chances to deserving individuals."

"As the President has stated, 'when our soldiers have to fight for our country, I want to give them the confidence to fight,'" the White House said in a statement.

But Lorance said in a tweet on Thursday that though he was pardoned and released from prison, a dishonorable discharge "makes it impossible to find a job. Even at Walmart or Target."

Trump "told me my record would be expunged," he said. "His staff in the White House must have disagreed. This will be an uphill battle."

In his tweet, Lorance included what appeared to be an email from Target rejecting his application to be a human-resources employee and saying it was "unable to provide specific feedback" on his candidacy.

In a press release in 2018, Target said that it was revising its hiring practices to remove a question about criminal history from the application and that it would be addressed only "in the final stages of the hiring process."

"There were claims that the approach may have unintentionally disqualified certain applicants, and that some applicants were disqualified because of convictions that weren't related to the position for which they applied," Target said, adding that the new process "ensures individuals are considered for employment based on their qualifications, interview and availability."

Since his release, Lorance has been outspoken about pardoning other convicted war criminals, including Nicholas Slatten, the former Blackwater security contractor who earlier this year was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the deadly shooting of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2007.

Lorance has also accused senior military leaders of trading in their uniforms to become politicians.

"And so I think they lose some of their values, and they certainly lose a lot of their respect from their subordinates when they do what they did to me, which was, you know, throw me under the bus," he said on "Fox & Friends" last month.

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