WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump pardoned more than two dozen people, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his son-in-law’s father, Charles Kushner, in the latest wave of pardons benefiting longtime allies and supporters.
Trump’s timely action in the White House brought about 50 people, who had been granted amnesty by the president in the past week. The list of the last two days includes not only many people convicted in investigations into ties to the Trump campaign in Russia, but also allies of Congress and other hooligans whose cause was championed by friends.
Pardons are common in the final stages of a presidential term, with recipients largely dependent on the individual owners of the country’s chief executive. In his administration, Trump has opted out of the Obama administration’s conferences when the pardon was reserved for mass drug offenders that the general public did not know, and instead granted amnesty on high-profile contacts and associates Was one of the key figures in the investigation that was directly related to him.
Even members of the president’s own party raised eyebrows, issuing a brief statement with Ben Sen of Nebraska stating: “It’s rotten to the core.”
The notables of Manafort and Roger Stone on Wednesday, which were sentenced by Trump months earlier, were particularly notable, underscoring the president’s willingness to chip away at the results and legacy of Special Counsel Robert Muller’s Russia investigation. He has now pardoned four people convicted in that investigation, including former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and campaign consultant George Papadopoulos, who convicted the FBI of lying.
Mueller team member Andrew Weissman, who helped Mueller, a member of the Müller team, tweeted, “This President receives a pardon.
Manafort, who led Trump’s campaign in Ukraine before being evicted over his ties to Ukraine in 2016, was among the first to be charged as part of Muller’s investigation into relations between the Trump campaign and Russia. He was later sentenced to more than seven years in prison for financial crimes related to his political consulting work in Ukraine, but was released into domestic imprisonment last spring due to coronovirus concerns in the federal prison system.
However, the allegations against Manafort did not concern the central thrust of Muller’s mandate – whether the Trump campaign and Russia collided to tip the election – he was nonetheless a key figure in the investigation.
His close relationship with a man American officials linked to Russian intelligence, and with whom he shared polling data of the internal campaign, attracted scrutiny especially during the investigation, though Mueller never showed up to Manafort or another Trump ally Not accused of conspiring with Russia.
Manafort, in a series of tweets, thanked Trump and lauded the outgoing president, declaring that history would show that he had accomplished more than any of his predecessors.
Trump did not forgive Manafort’s deputy, Rick Gates, who was sentenced to 45 days in prison last year after cooperating extensively with prosecutors or former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who bought the women’s silence His efforts were blamed for preventing related finance offenses. Who said he had sexual relations with Trump. Both were also convicted in the Mueller investigation.
Prosecutors in New York City, meanwhile, are seeking the state’s highest court revived state mortgage fraud charges, as the lower court against Manafort dismissed them on double jeopardy grounds. A spokesman for District Attorney Cy Vance said the pardon “underscores the urgent need to hold Mr. Manafort responsible for his crimes against the people of New York.”
Manafort and Stone were hardly traditionally pardoned, as both were scolded by judges for effectively nosing their noses in the criminal justice system as their cases were pending. Manafort was also accused of molestation after testimony and was accused by the prosecution of lying while trying to earn credit for cooperation.
Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress about his efforts to obtain information about WikiLeaks’ release of Russia-hacked Democratic emails during the 2016 campaign, was similarly accused by a judge on his social media Was closed due to posts.
In a statement on Wednesday, Stone thanked Trump and alleged that he was subject to “Soviet-style show trials on politically objective allegations”.
Kushner is the father of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and a wealthy real estate executive who pleaded guilty years ago to stealing taxes and donating illegal campaigns. Trump and the elder Kushner knew each other from real estate circles and their children were married in 2009.
Prosecutors alleged that when Kushner found out that his brother-in-law was cooperating with authorities, he planned to avenge and intimidate him. They say he hired a prostitute to lure his brother-in-law, then arranged for a secret recording of the encounter in a New Jersey motel room that was sent to his own sister, the man’s wife.
Former New Jersey Government. Chris Christie called it “one of the most hate crimes, a hate crime”.
Trump’s legally troubled allies were not merely recipients of the pardon. The list of 29 recipients included those whose pleas for pardon have been promoted by those they supported during their presidency, including former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, NewsMax CEO Christopher Rudy and Kentucky’s Sen. Rand Paul is involved.
One recipient was Topeka Sam, whose case was promoted by Alice Johnson, a criminal justice advocate whom Trump pardoned and who appeared in a Super Bowl ad for him and at the Republican National Convention.
“Ms. Sam’s life is a story of redemption,” the White House said in its release, praising her for helping other women in need.
The pardon granted to others included a former county commissioner in Florida who was convicted of taking gifts from people doing business with the county and a community leader in Kentucky who was convicted of federal drug crimes .
Associated Press writers Jill Colvin in Palm Beach, Florida, and Michael Balsamo in Washington contributed to this report.