Donald Trump pardoned Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, and other high-profile figures this week in a spate of clemency actions before Christmas.
The president also granted clemency to George Papadopoulos, Charles Kushner, and dozens of others between Tuesday and Wednesday.
Trump pardons campaign figures
Trump issued 26 pardons and three commutations on Wednesday, after granting 15 pardons and five commutations from the day before.
Trump had previously commuted a sentence for Stone, the eccentric political operative whose home was infamously raided by Mueller’s team, and pardoned Michael Flynn. Both men were snagged by what Trump allies have long seen as a baseless “witch hunt.”
The president provoked controversy Tuesday by pardoning four Blackwater contractors, Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard, who were convicted of killing Iraqi civilians in 2007.
Trump also granted clemency Tuesday to three former Republican lawmakers charged with corruption, pardoning ex-New York Rep. Chris Collins for insider trading and ex-California Rep. Duncan Hunter for misusing campaign funds, while commuting a sentence for ex-Texas Rep. Steve Stockman for misusing charity funds.
Kushner, others pardoned
Trump also granted pardons and commutations Tuesday to several drug offenders at the recommendation of Alice Marie Johnson, a criminal justice reform advocate whose own commutation for cocaine trafficking drew significant attention.
Others Trump pardoned include Alfonso Costa, a dentist who pled guilty to health care fraud and who received support from Dr. Ben Carson, and an 89-year old man who pled guilty to helping a relative make moonshine illegally when he was 19, Alfred Lee Crum.
Trump has often been attacked by critics for using his pardon power to benefit allies and white-collar criminals, and he gave his foes plenty to complain about when he fully pardoned Stone and pardoned Manafort, his former campaign chairman, on Wednesday. Both men were caught up in Mueller’s probe, Stone for process crimes and Manafort for unrelated financial crimes.
Another big pardon Wednesday was for Charles Kushner, the father of Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, who pled guilty in 2005 to tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign contributions.
Manafort tweeted his thanks. “Mr. President, my family & I humbly thank you for the Presidential Pardon you bestowed on me. Words cannot fully convey how grateful we are,” he said.