US President Donald Trump has pardoned 29 individuals, including former aides convicted during the Robert Mueller investigations on allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 elections and his son-in-law’s father.
Prominent among those pardoned on Wednesday include Roger Stone and Paul Manafort, who were convicted during the Robert Mueller investigations.
“Today, President Trump has issued a full and complete pardon to Paul Manafort, stemming from convictions prosecuted in the course of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, which was premised on the Russian collusion hoax. Mr. Manafort has already spent two years in prison, including a stretch of time in solitary confinement – treatment worse than what many of the most violent criminals receive,” the White House said.
“As a result of blatant prosecutorial overreach, Mr. Manafort has endured years of unfair treatment and is one of the most prominent victims of what has been revealed to be perhaps the greatest witch hunt in American history. As Mr. Manafort’s trial judge observed, prior to the Special Counsel investigation, Mr. Manafort had led an ‘otherwise blameless life.’ Since May, Mr. Manafort has been released to home confinement as a result of COVID-19 concerns,” it said.
“Today, President Trump granted a full and unconditional pardon to Roger Stone, Jr. President Trump had previously commuted Mr. Stone’s sentence in July of this year. Mr. Stone is a 68-year-old man with numerous medical conditions,” the White House said.
“Due to prosecutorial misconduct by Special Counsel Mueller’s team, Mr. Stone was treated very unfairly. He was subjected to a pre-dawn raid of his home, which the media conveniently captured on camera. Mr. Stone also faced potential political bias at his jury trial. Pardoning him will help to right the injustices he faced at the hands of the Mueller investigation,” it said.
Trump granted a full pardon to his son-in-law’s father Charles Kushner, 66.
“Since completing his sentence in 2006, Mr. Kushner has been devoted to important philanthropic organisations and causes, such as Saint Barnabas Medical Center and United Cerebral Palsy. This record of reform and charity overshadows Mr. Kushner’s conviction and 2-year-sentence for preparing false tax returns, witness retaliation, and making false statements to the FEC,” said the White House.
The Hill newspaper reported that by pardoning Stone and Manafort, Trump has essentially undone the criminal ramifications for his associates who were ensnared in Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Earlier this month, Trump had pardoned 20 individuals and in November, he had pardoned former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
According to The Washington Post, Trump has discussed pardoning Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist, and Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, and will issue dozens more before he leaves office.
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