President Donald Trump issued yet another batch of pardons and commutations on Wednesday, giving 29 people joy, including ally Roger Stone, his former campaign chair Paul Manafort and the father of his son-in-law.
The pardons come a day after Trump issued a full pardon to 15 people, including former House Republicans, key figures in the Russia investigation and the four former Blackwater mercenaries who killed Iraqi civilians. He also commuted the sentences to five others.
The pardon for Manafort, who was convicted of federal economic crimes prosecuted by former Special Adviser Robert Mueller’s office, did not come as a surprise. The presidential prayer came as the former Trump campaign chair was in the midst of serving a seven-year sentence and represents Trump’s recent exercise of compassionate power to regret the fruits of Mueller’s efforts. In Wednesday’s round, the president awarded 26 people full forgiveness and commuted some or all of the sentences for a further three.
Trump’s announcement. does not, however, end Manafort’s legal problems. He still faces potential charges of fraud in New York state court, and Trump has no authority to provide mercy for state taxes, only federal crimes.
Shortly after the White House announced its forgiveness, Manafort thanked Trump on Twitter and praised the legacy of the President.
“History will register that your presidency has accomplished more in four years than any of your modern predecessors.”
After years of attacking – but failing to stop – Mueller’s investigation, Trump gets revenge in his final weeks in office, exercising his powerful power to reward allies who either pleaded guilty or were convicted by a jury. Manafort is the fifth person facing charges following Mueller’s investigation to receive mercy. The president on Tuesday pardoned former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and lawyer Alex van der Zwaan a few weeks after forgiving his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Over the summer, Trump overturned the verdict for Stone, a former Trump campaign adviser who had been jailed for lying to Congress during the Russia investigation, preventing investigators and manipulating witnesses. On Wednesday, Trump gave him full pardon and completely cleared his list of criminal charges.
Property developer Charles Kushner also received full pardon on Wednesday. Kushner, the father of Trump’s aide and son-in-law Jared, spent approx. one year in federal prison after pleading guilty to campaign funding violations and testimony. In particular, the White House for pardon did not announce his son among those who supported the decision.
Wednesday’s pardons also included Margaret Hunter, the wife of the former U.S. rep. Duncan Hunter, who was pardoned by the president on Tuesday. The California couple were arrested in 2018 after federal prosecutors accused them of spending more than $ 250,000 in campaign funds on family vacations, theater tickets and meals. They did not initially plead guilty, but last summer Margaret agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and changed her plea to guilty. Several months later, her husband followed suit and resigned from Congress.